Monday, January 16, 2012


Moneyball deserves a lot of praise, and not just because it makes the business of a billion-dollar game so compelling. Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin have received a big chunk of the credit for their efficient writing and crisp dialogue. But we mustn’t forget director Bennett Miller, whose cool command of the players and fluid dissemination of the many moving parts results in a real, visceral movie. My only complaint about such deft handling of complex material is that the film doesn’t quite dig to the heart of why the numbers and statistics are so important. Some of its finest interludes involve mathematics; unfortunately they are short-lived and undercooked as a result. Nevertheless this is smooth filmmaking. And at the center is Brad Pitt, who has never carried a movie on his shoulders as he does here. It’s not just that he owns the film from start to finish, but that he does it with a layered, subtle performance. His character exudes confidence when he’s wheeling and dealing, but in moments of quiet (see the opening and closing moments of the film) his eyes tell you everything. (Bennett Miller, 2011) ***

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