I finally got around to seeing this one. Based on the true story, and book by Michael Lewis with a script by Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane the General Manager of the Oakland A’s, who with the help of statistical whiz kid, Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), uses statistics and computer forecasting to change the face of baseball.
As a lower budgeted team, Beane can’t afford to bring in the players he would like, as it’s all about the money in the game, but when en encounters Brand, he looks at it in a whole new way, as numbers, runs, and statistics projected by a computer programs, and he sees a whole new potential for his team there.
This is a film, I liked a lot, the editing, the pacing, the way everything seemed to just work perfectly in this film. In flashbacks, we learn how Billy Beane came to become the GM of the A’s, it’s not overly emotional, it lays out the facts, and helps illustrate the character, so you understand where he is coming from when he decides he wants to change the face of baseball with Brand’s help.
But his scouts, and even the head coach, Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman) seem to be against him, playing the players the way he wants instead of the way that both Beane and Brand hoped he would. When they make cuts, change rotations, and shake things up a bit, Howe has no choice but to play the team Beane wants, and its then that things take off for the A’s.
They go onto an amazing winning streak, but it’s the final game of the series that will be the deciding factor, whether the changes Beane and Brand attempted to make will be applauded or criticized…
No one believes in the plan, many oppose it, but Beane and Brand are determined, recruiting players that no one would even think about, including a former catcher, Scott Hatteburg (Chris Pratt) for their new first baseman.
The end result is a very well-crafted and entertaining film that captivates and that is saying something for me, because I am far from a Jonah Hill fan, and I can take or leave Brad Pitt, although I really liked his performance in this film, and there was something Redford-esque in his portrayal.
I’m also a huge fan of Sorkin’s writing, so knowing he was involved definitely caught my attention, because he always has an ear for crisp and sharp dialogue.
This is a different kind of baseball movie, so even if you’re not a baseball fan, you can enjoy it! But don’t take my word for it, check out it this evening on Netflix and let me know what you think!