Saturday, 4 February 2012
OSCARS PICK: MONEYBALL
The first of our 'Oscars Pick's' looks at our favourite; 'Moneyball'.
-BEST ACTOR (Brad Pitt)
-BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (Jonah Hill)
-BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan)
A home run right on the money.
15, 133 Minutes. Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill & Phillip Seymour Hoffman Director: Bennett Miller. Screenplay: Steven Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin
For all who don't know, I'm a basketball fan...and a British one to boot. Meaning I really don't know diddly squat about Baseball, when it comes to writing about this sport I'm really minor league. Still that doesn't mean 'Moneyball' didn't strike me...hard. The true life, amazing Baseball drama with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in the outfield has it's bases loaded for an award road trip. It really is a big hit.
This is one of those times where you should listen to the American critics and not the British ones and not because they're biased. It's because their right. This true story is truly the inspiring underdog story of the year. From the Red Sox to the non sport fans it fundamentally changes the game. It's hallmark baseball from the cap tilts to the spitting in cups. You can't help but believe in this film like Brad Pitt's ex-player, now coach Billy Beane believes in his team. You see the Oakland Athletics really are the opposite end of the New York Yankee's, in fact their an organ donor team for the pinstriped ballclub. Not only do they lose to them, they lose their best players to them and everyone else.
So being truly an underdog Pitt recruits economics and statistical whiz-kid Jonah Hill to put together a team of affordable players that if played by the numbers should guarantee success. The formula is termed 'Moneyball' and it's the Vegas of Major League Baseball casino's. Will it work? Well you'll have to see for yourselves but one thing that does work about this movie is everything. Pitt and Hill's charismatic chemistry could only be stronger if this was a romantic film and the legacy making legend and the primed rising star have barely been better.
There's a great supporting cast too, that's what happens when you hire the great Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the dug-out. He really does look the part, the catchers mit of baseball coach really fits. Bennett Miller directs a perfect pitch from the top 'Social Network' playbooks of Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian. From wood snapping sound effects to perfect silence of the sound of losing the drama is really cranked up to the max, while being battered up by a subtle but atmospheric score. There's even some fitting Ice-T narration (I guess working for 'The Other Guys' really beefed up his resume) for you hip fans.
From boardroom meetings to perfect action on the field the excitement and anticipation is always at a fever pitch and a merry-go-round of calls really shows you just how nerve-wracking and enthralling a trade-deadline and the business of sports can really be. This film really does wonders for the sport of baseball recently like 'Any Given Sunday' did for American Football' and 'Coach Carter' did for basketball. Put the boring or alienating notions aside this film of dreams and ideas really is what the romanticism and beauty of sports is really made of. Epic stuff. TIM DAVID HARVEY.