Moneyball ★★★★

Everyone starts reviewing this film with," I don't like Baseball, but". Well I do like Baseball and I found this a riveting and very intelligent slant on America's favorite pastime.
Unless you're from New York then you hate the Yankees. It's like football (soccer) in the UK, we all hate Manchester United unless you're from a certain part of Lancashire. This film follows the same lets hate the rich guys scenario that every fan of a smaller club feels. The Oakland Athletics were the Aston Villa of the baseball world back in 2001 when the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox plundered their best players with big money offers and super-stardom. Like Ashley Young or Gareth Barry that were stolen by City and United, the big two stole Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi and Jason Isringhausen from a team that were hampered by a budget. Cue a total change in approach as Oakland A's manager Billy Beane played effortlessly and without pretense by Brad Pitt uses an economics graduate with some unusual ideas to shake up his team. Unable to compete financially with the big boys this radical approach gets ridiculed from the start but with faith and determination believes in what he is attempting.
A film not only for baseball enthusiasts and economics geeks this has a them-against-us attitude that endears them to fans of the underdog. Pitt is marvelous but almost gets upstaged by a remarkable turn from Jonah Hill who proved he isn't just a comedic actor. A story with a heart and soul, this has a sharp script by Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian that takes it's time to develop but pays off in spades with one brilliant scene after another. Aided by some trusted faces like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright this Bennett Miller film garnered six Oscar nominations and a fine box office payback. A great movie that really does show that Brad Pitt is turning into the Robert Redford of the seventies with fine performances in quality, intelligent movies.

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