The sports drama -- rewritten by Aaron Sorkin (who just won an Oscar for 'The Social Network) and directed by Bennett Miller -- digs into Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), the general manager of the cash-strapped Oakland A's. After the team loses many of its key players, Beane hires an economic genius (Jonah Hill) and they begin using advanced statistical analysis that gives them a hidden advantage over other, wealthier teams. Other supporting players include Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright, so while Hill mixed with Pitt might make this seem comedic, it is, indeed, a drama -- one that's attracting some great buzz and gushing about love and triumph.
Two moviegoers who caught an early screening shared their glowing responses with Hollywood Elsewhere. The first loved it, going so far as to call it "a triumph of storytelling, editing and a little bit of star power." But the kicker is surprising casting twist Hill (who took over for Demetri Martin, another funnyman): "Hill is fantastic as a number-crunching nobody, and is really wonderful underplaying everything." The second secret reviewer agrees, noting that Hill was "killing every scene he's in."
This reviewer also noted that while most of our big sports movies use the game as a stepping stone to dramatic fare -- romantic, interpersonal, coming-of-age -- this is "a sports film seen through the prism of sports."
This is only some of the spoiler-free praise recorded, and it sounds like Sorkin might just have another home run on his hands. The one question we have is whether a "sports film seen through the prism of sports" will attract enough of an audience. Brad Pitt's name should help, but it'll be interesting to see how they market a sports film that doesn't also rely on other themes like romance, violence or coming-of-age shenanigans. It's nice to see a sports film for the sports fan, but will people not obsessed with their own fantasy baseball leagues still want to show up for this one?
Will you be hitting theaters for 'Moneyball' this September?