Thursday, 5 July 2012


When I started watching Moneyball (2011) I knew nothing about the game of baseball, when I’d finished watching Bennett Miller’s film I didn’t knew much more. But that’s not important as watching this movie demands little knowledge of the game because the story is really about what goes on behind the scenes, its business ethics and the wheeling and dealing to enable a club to be successful and thereby rack in pots of money.

The film is based on a 2003 book of the same name by non-fiction and financial journalist Michael Lewis adapted by Steven Zaillian, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Schindlers List (1993), and Aaron Sorkin, who won an Academy Award for the Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network (2010). This biographical sports drama was nominated for six Academy Awards one of which was Best Actor for Brad Pitt who plays Billy Beane a former Major League Baseball player who became the general manager of the Oakland Athletics after a promising playing career failed. The A’s, as the club is known, could not compete with the bigger and richer clubs in their league. Beane along with the Yale academic and economist Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) decided on a new approach that would allow them to build a winning team and to amass points without spending money they did not have. 

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

Although a little long at 133 minutes I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it has an engaging story line that’s backed up by some compelling acting from all involved, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has a fairly small part as the team manager. This is an American sports film that is both intelligent and relevant to sporting finance in most other countries, including one of Scotland’s premiere football clubs. 

A rather rotund Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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