- Best Achievement in Film Editing: Christopher Tellefsen
- Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
- Best Motion Picture of the Year
- Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: brad Pitt
- Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Jonah Hill
- Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
Moneyball, a film directed in 2011 by Bennett Miller, takes a very interesting look at the inner workings of baseball. The film stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and Philip Seymore Hoffman. It is the true story of the Oakland A’s miraculous turn around when general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) begins to recruit players using computer software rather than the traditional way. This is not a movie that focuses on the players of the team. Instead, the film’s plot revolves around the manager and recruiters that put the teams together.
One of the most shocking aspects of this movie is how controversial Beane’s decisions were in the world of baseball. Traditionally, recruiters memorized facts and stats about the major league players, as well as the most promising minor league players, watch them play and make their decisions based off what they saw. The recruiters’ hunches and experience often factored into the choices they made. They would look for well rounded players (who were often quite expensive) and trusted themselves and their feelings. In one, single season, Beane managed to take this traditional method and flip it on its head.
When we are introduced to the A’s, they are a failing team that doesn’t have enough funds to compete with larger tears, like the New York Yankees. Frustrated manager Billy Beane is desperately trying to field a decent team but does not have the money or resources to do so, until he meets Peter Brand. Brand (Hill) is working in his first job out of college compiling data on players for an opposing team. After seeing Brand’s unorthodox method of analyzing data, Beane hires him. It turns out that Brand has developed a unique mathematical way of looking at baseball. Rather than buying expensive, well rounded players, a team should focus on buying what wins games: runs. Players that get a base have a better chance of scoring runs so they are valuable. As Beane puts more and more faith in Brand’s method he becomes more and more ostracized by his coworkers, namely his head recruiter and manager (Hoffman). The team’s success however proves Beane placed his faith in the correct method.
The film has earned itself a couple of Oscar nominations. Brad Pitt has been nominated as Best Actor, Jonah Hill has been nominated as best Supporting Actor and the film has been nominated for Best Picture of the Year. I thought that overall, the film was great but to be honest, I don’t see it bringing home any Oscars. Brad Pitt played the part of Billy Beane brilliantly, bringing his turmoil and confusion to life but it is not an Oscar winning role, this year. Pitt gives a great performance that may have won in other years but he is up against some strong performances like George Clooney in the Descendants and Jean Dujardin in The Artist. Jonah Hill is facing the same problem with his nomination. Hill is in a category up against some amazing performances by Christopher Plummer and Kenneth Branagh. Hill plays the subdued, somewhat nerdy roll perfectly, filling his scenes with dry humor. As refreshing as it was to see Hill step out of his comfort zone, it was even more refreshing to see what a great actor he really is. Normally, Hill plays loud, in-your-face, vulgar characters and Peter Brand is the opposite of that. I really would like Hill to win the Oscar but I really don’t thing he is going to.
As far as Best Picture goes, Moneyball is in for a tough fight. As great as the film is, it is up against the Descendents, the Artist (which won the Golden Globe) and the Help. I do not believe that Moneyball has what it takes to win best picture. The film will need to fight the same battle for its other awards. It is up against Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the Decedents in the Adapted Screenplay category and a number of other great film. Personally, I give the film an 8 out of 10. It is a great film but, though I hate to say it, I don’t think it’s an Academy Award winner. Watch it before the Awards and let me know what you think.