In review: Moneyball

I’m going to go ahead and say it. I think Brad Pitt has finally done it. Honestly, I believe that his performance in Moneyball warrants him his first Oscar of his lengthy career.

Pitt’s career was kick-started in 1991 with Thelma & Louise and since then, it seems as if a shroud of superficiality has surrounded his celebrity, causing him to be seen as a pretty face more than a formidable acting force. Never has Pitt been been a legitimate contender come February and Oscar season.

Not even with memorable and nominated performances in films like Twelve Monkeys and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The absence of Pitt’s name from the list of serious Oscar consideration can largely be attributed to the amount of time he has spent in the public eye.

This spotlight has plagued his tenure in Hollywood with a misconception that unfortunately has hindered people’s ability to see the conviction of his performance in Fight Club rather than the handsome man in Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Rumor has it the pre-production of this movie was a long and arduous process. The names of several directors came and went; numerous drafts of the screenplay were written and rewritten, but to no avail. Luckily, Bennett Miller, director for the 2005 hit Capote, was welcomed to the project by Columbia Pictures, following an impressive interview where Miller shared an idea for a new perspective for the film.

In no regard is Moneyball your typical sports movie; there are no motivational speeches before a big game and there are no superstars. It’s real in the sense that it chronicles the life of a man that we can empathize with. The film depicts the life of Pitt’s character, Billy Beane, through the changing stages of his baseball career, as both a player and a general manager. As a result, you get a sense that he is a man who has experienced many hardships, failures, and most of all, he’s human.

Moneyball soars as a film because it’s not what you expect.  Nowhere is there a hot-shot pitcher who can hit 95 miles per hour on the radar gun. You’re not going to see a general manager that has unlimited spending to forge his team from the Major League Baseball fire known as “free agency.” You will, however, see a piece of sports cinema about a team of misfits who have long since been forgotten. It is this humanity and essence that is discovered in each player but also in Billy Beane that inspires the audience to believe that it is possible to perform outside the conventions of your own projected talent when you’re playing for something larger and more meaningful than yourself.

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