Money Ball has rightfully earned a spot in the 2012 Oscar Nominations. Not to mention the nomination that Brad Pitt got for Best Actor in this drama film is truly spot on. The contenders for Oscars are truly amazing and have earned their spot well. Here at New Movie Launches, we will give you reviews on why these films made their way to the top this year. Money Ball is the second article in series of films that we will be examining. It is directed by Bennett Miller and also stars Robin Wright and Jonah Hill. Here is a movie review from Manohla Dargis on the Best Picture Nominee “Money Ball”:
“The hungry heart of “Moneyball,” a movie about baseball in the digital age, is a beautiful hard case named Billy Beane. Coiled yet cool, Billy has the liquid physical grace and bright eyes of a predator. He was built to win. Even his name, with its short syllabic bursts, sounds ready for ESPN exultations. That he’s played by Brad Pitt giving the quintessential Brad Pitt performance just seals the deal. It didn’t turn out that way, and in 2001 this high school star turned major-league washout was no longer a player but the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, the little team that could but didn’t.
Well, sometimes it did. In 2001 the A’s actually finished second in the American League West, but that October, in the game that opens the movie, they lost the Division Series to the New York Yankees. The score was 5-3, but as numbers that flash across the screen suggest — $114,457,768 vs.$39,722,689 — that loss, in the final game of a five-game series, was nowhere near a humiliation. Based on Michael Lewis’s nimble, joyously entertaining nonfiction chronicle of the Athletics’ sprint toward the top despite the odds and dollar signs, “Moneyball” is an exuberant fictionalized look at how Mr. Beane helped transform the team, one of the poorest in baseball, into serious competition for the wealthiest franchises, mostly by ignoring everything he’d been taught about the game.
The old baseball knowledge, as more than a few earlier movies have taught, was built on rich whiffs of romance and new sod, and highly subjective ideas about what it takes to win, including looking right for the part, having a certain stance on the mound, even a good face. Early in “Moneyball” there’s a funny scene of Billy (who of course has a great face), sitting around with his council of elders: the old-timers, mostly, who scour the country for the next big hope. The old men are jawing about the pluses and minuses of draft prospects, ticking off assets and defects but also body parts. At times they sound as if they’re looking for Saturday night dates, not athletes.
It’s hard to imagine anyone but Mr. Pitt in the role. He’s relaxed yet edgy and sometimes unsettling, as in his testy exchanges, bristling with tamped-down fury, with the A’s manager, Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman, wearing a head of peach fuzz and a scowl). Though Mr. Miller holds onto the romance of baseball that Mr. James and others helped strip away (this is, after all, a tale of winners and losers), Billy doesn’t really change: he just becomes his perfect self. When he first goes after Peter, he moves in like a shark. Initially Peter can’t look Billy in the face, and when they talk, Peter keeps dropping his eyes, like the plain girl who can’t believe the hottest guy at school is even talking to her. But he is.”
You can read the complete article at New York Times.
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