Moneyball (B. Miller, 2011)

Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011)

I probably only enjoyed this as much as I did because of my love for baseball. But as a film trying to dive deep into the soul of a man, this doesn’t really work. Outside of his life as the Oakland A’s general manager, there’s a few flashbacks to his past as a player and a side story of Beane’s relationship with his daughter. Neither helped us understand this man better, though I think Miller included them to do so. It succeeds in being a sports movie mostly void of cheesy sentimentality, and one that doesn’t include an insulting ‘rah rah’ ending. Beane never gets over the hump and never reaches his goal, and the final scene is the closest we get seeing this man as the frustrated and haunted figure he is, and it’s done so subtlely that it might be the best scene in the film.  6.75/10


6 Responses to “Moneyball (B. Miller, 2011)”

  1. Linda Gaikwad Says:

    I’m glad I had read Kahneman’s theories on intuition vs formulas and whether/when expert judgment can be trusted (“Thinking, Fast and Slow”) prior to seeing this film. If the intent of the film was not directly related to this, it sure appeared to be. The “experts” betrayed Beane by predicting his success with overconfident authority. This seems to be the ghost he fights, and he finds some relief in the strict formulas which deny the relevance of romantic intuition of the game. As if given a set of glasses, his world comes into focus. And that was enough…

    • chrisfilm Says:

      That’s an interesting take, and one that gives the film more merit than I gave it. I still feel like that connection between his past and present is an accident on the film team’s part though. I really think their sole intention was to let us know how Beane got where he got. The last flashback scene has Beane choosing to be a scout, which would be an odd choice of inclusion if they were wanting to express his feeling of betrayal. Add that to the fact that he never actually fights the system until his back is against the wall, it all leads me to believe the writers/director didn’t have a clue how to handle this. (They should have hired you, Linda!)

      • I recommend that you read the book. Linda’s comment is spot on, and the connection between Beane’s disappointing player career and his decisions as a GM is completely intentional. The source material tells us this directly, while the movie, whether because of the format or screenwriter’s decision, implies it–evidently with too much subtlety for viewers who haven’t read the book.

  2. Glad you reviewed this one. I’d been wondering about it, but if you’re giving it a 6.75, I can safely assume it’s one I can miss. Thx!

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