I basically never watch sports movies. I love Sorkin’s film scripts. Happy to say that I really liked Moneyball. The specifics of baseball hold absolutely no interest for me, but Sorkin manages to make the film work strongly as the story of trying to revolutionised an industry stuck in tradition.
Brad Pitt is great as usual (I love the touch of him eating something in nearly every scene he’s in), Jonah Hill is fantastic, and Chris Pratt makes a fair impression. There’s something about Hill’s underplayed, quiet style of delivering his dialogue that really worked.
The cinematography emphasises the tension and proximity of the sport and the general atmosphere of the film well, with a lot of close-ups and usually only one or two actors in the frame. It’s the writing and performances that are the real star of the show though. I really liked the film’s focus, there were a few subplots but they were handled with restraint and ultimately didn’t interrupt the pacing.
Director Bennett Miller keeps a tight handle on the tone; the film never truly devolves into sports film, retaining a focus on the characters and the general relatable story of trying to stick it to the establishment when they refuse to get with the times.
The real triumph of the film is how it tells a story about sports that dispenses with sports film conventions to frame the story as a broader revolutionary tale.
I give it three baseballs, and a red sock.