By Kyle St John Peters
WARNING! This is not your typical sports movie. Although the film starts off with an underdog coach and an underdog team, it veers off from the traditional route these types of films usually take. Don’t expect the cliched scenes you’ve lived with for years (passionate team talk 3/4 of the way through when the chips are down; the team scoring the winning point with only seconds left on the clock… in slomo).
Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps it doesn’t lack these cliches, so much as hide them or turn them on their head. Moneyball is all about the mechanics behind the sport of baseball rather than the sport itself. It’s a sport’s movie without much actual sport. This may frustrate some, but for everyone else who could do with something different, it’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Pitt is truly great, giving us an honest, heartfelt performance of a regular guy who pushes himself to make a difference and is never satisfied with his work, even when he changed the entire nature of game. Jonah Hill is controlled and understated, just as he needs to be in this type of role and Philip Seymour Hoffman is… well, as great you expect him to be.
If I have one criticism against the film, it’s that Moneyball could have done with a slight trim. Although it holds your attention, the third act seems to drag a little and a small nip/tuck here and there could have helped it out, but that’s just me being picky.
There’s actually so many good things one could say about this movie, but I think the best thing about it, is the fact that it’s different. I suppose we always think that it’s the mad rush of the game, or the heart in your mouth feeling that connects us to sports movies, but in actual fact, like many great stories, it’s the connection of simply following the story of one ordinary man, fighting against the odds and the social norms to make a difference in the world.