Moneyball is one of my favourite films.
So often, a film is made because of an incredibly interesting story and the film itself is an after thought. The work is done before someone decides to make a film and the rest of the process is just going through the motions. My example of this is always American Made, starring Tom Cruise, an interesting story turned into an alright film without anything too special. Moneyball is the opposite of American Made. I have no idea how a person could convince me to watch Moneyball if I didn’t already know it was supposed to be really good. A film about a baseball team who used statistics to change their fortunes is a lot of people’s idea of a nightmare. I hate sports films. I hate American sports films in particular. I hate the assumed universal relatability and Americentrism. Baseball films are the pinnacle of this bullshit and I just can’t be dealing with that. My appreciation of mathematics and statistics, systems and efficiency doesn’t out weigh my hatred of baseball films. Despite the fact that, on paper, this film sounds incredibly boring, it is incredible.
So I watched the film around the time it came out, based on the critical success and the cast. Brad Pitt is solid, but Jonah Hill is the man. I have so much time for Jonah Hill as an actor and a person. I really like his performance in Moneyball because is completely the character while adding elements of himself. I think the scene where Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane tells Jonah Hill’s Peter Brand that he’ll have to practice firing people is the best example. I’ve seen the interviews where Jonah Hill is uncomfortable and people are unpleasant to him and he is exactly the same without this seeming like a break from his character. That scene also shows Brad Pitt and the chewing tobacco which is a great detail to the film.
It’s a great film because of great writing, great casting, great performances and it’s wonderful because at the end of the day I don’t give a shit about what this film is about. It’s great despite being about baseball.