Moneyball – September 17

I kept the two big star movies for today so after George it’s off to see Brad in another target for the Academy. This one tells the story of Billy Beane the manager of the Oakland A’s baseball team in the late 90’s. Beane was a fan of sabermetrics, a statistical analysis of baseball teams and players developed by Bob James. The theory is that baseball can be analysed like a complex mathematical problem and a team can and should be built on this analysis more so than on the assessment of individual player skills and talents. Oakland was very successful under his direction despite the nay sayers who objected to his approach. Jonah Hill plays the young Yale economics grad who understands and crunches the numbers. Oakland never won a World Series using this approach but with one of the lowest salary budgets in professional sport, the team played well above their financial weight setting a modern era record for the most consecutive wins (20) in 2002. But the film is not just about baseball and statistics, it is also about Beane and his life. The ending is great and the script smart and funny. This was a very enjoyable two hours and if there is anyone who can challenge Clooney for the smooth actor title it would be Brad Pitt.

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