When I saw Moneyball I realized one thing — thank the Cine-Gods, it’s fall. Most of the silly action flicks, meaningless horror films, and silly rom-coms are out of the way, and it’s time to get into those hard hitting, meaningful, 2+ hour, dramas that will soon be award contenders. I love this time of year, though I didn’t necessarily love this film, it fulfilled a need that I think all cinema-goers have been needing for some time and has a number of wonderful qualities that make it worth a trip to the theaters.

The Players:

  • Director: Bennett Miller
  • Writers: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Stan Chervin (story), Michael Lewis (book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”)
  • Stars: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt, Stephen Bishop

The Plot:

Moneyball follows the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s, a man who was known as a failed baseball player, who went on to successfully put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

The Good:

  • Success Junkie: They did a absolutely wonderful job of capturing all of the complexities of a success junkie, who as they say in the film “hates to lose, more they they love to win.” The kind of person who will never accept the good, but always wait for the other shoe to drop. It’s wonderful to see a script, director and actor seem to understand this concept so well and really show the audience what it means in all its different forms.
  • The Acting: Though the burden of carrying the film was largely placed on Pitt, who carried the film with ease, the supporting cast of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and the surprisingly wonderful Chris Pratt all added wonderful dynamics to the film and were a joy the watch.
  • The Humor: There’s not much of it, but when it’s there it’s strong and well used. Pitt has always had great timing on screen and this film really shows that he’s able, with a mere eyebrow or pause, give the film that extra something that makes it special.
  • The Metaphor: It’s great when a film ends with a morality tale that is relevant and clever but not shoved down your throat, and this film does exactly that. So whatever my problems with the film, I can safely say that I left the theater with a smile on my face — and I like that.

The Bad:

  • Some Errors: The film doesn’t always follow the facts, though it doesn’t really hurt the journey to an untrained eye. The broad strokes were all added and the story was well told. I have to say that I know NOTHING about baseball, but heard others that did have some complaints coming out of the theater. So if you’re a fan of the sport, you may have some issues, though I have NO idea what or what they are. My only problem was that they play a song in the movie several times that didn’t come out until years after this story took place. Details.
  • Length: This is definitely a film you have to settle into and one that about 100 minutes into I was ready to have it be wrap up. It’s not too slow, but there is just a LOT of sadness and failing before we get to any pay off. It’s 133 minutes, so be prepared to settle in for the long hall.

Overall:

This is a fine film, one that again, kicks off the fall season. I think there will be a number of others that top it in coming months, but it’s still a contender and one worth your almighty dollars.

Rating: 7/10

Moneyball hits theaters today, September 23rd.