With Moneyball premiering in Oakland Monday night, many are wondering what to expect from the Brad Pitt film. Pitt, who stars as A’s general manager Billy Beane, was reportedly “obsessed” with the film project.
Pitt, like many baseball fans across the nation, really liked the story behind Moneyball, which was originally a sports/business book written by Michael Lewis.
The story follows Beane as he tries to build a championship team despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. Moneyball is regarded as being one of the most influential sports books ever written.
Some people think that Moneyball helped reinvent the game of baseball, as many bigger market clubs like the Red Sox and Yankees have adopted the techniques used by Beane and the A’s. Lewis’ book covered, in great detail, the use of sabermetrics, and how Beane used that new approach in scouting players.
According to some early reviews of the film, however, seem to indicate that director Bennett Miller and screenwriters Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian focused more on the personal life of Billy Beane than on all the mathematical equations behind the Moneyball approach.
Film critics have been somewhat kind towards the film, and so far the film has received an 83% on the popular film rating site Rottentomatoes.com. Critics have also been very accepting of Pitt’s portrayal of Beane, with some regarding the role as Pitt’s best work yet.
Here are a few excerpts from a few of the early reviews for Moneyball:
Oh Moneyball, you’re a clever little film. You’ve done something important, something weighty, and you’ve done it with panache. Verve, even. The degree of difficulty involved in taking a complex theme (the concept of undervalued assets) and molding it into a coherent and entertaining two-hour film is substantial, but they’ve pulled it off. Though more abstract than most mainstream films, Moneyball is still a movie that should appeal to a broad audience. —Laremy Legel, Editor of Film.com
Another approach might have treated the source material as exposition for a more conventional baseball story, but “Moneyball” is content to draw back the curtain and find drama in the dealings. Miller’s low-key style suits that strategy nicely, breaking up shop-talk scenes with artful, quiet moments in which Beane steps away from the action, nicely captured by d.p.—Peter Debruge, Variety
Brad Pitt anchors it with a performance that might be the best he’s ever given as a leading man.—Katey Rich, CinemaBlend.com
So far, the film is earning some good recognition from the critics. The film should, as the reviews indicate, appeal to a much broader audience, and should do pretty well in the box-office.