Moneyball, the crackerjack true-life baseball movie starring Brad Pitt as the quirky, embattled, visionary Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (a name born to be a movie character), took a lot of people, including me, by surprise. A baseball drama with a star as big as Brad Pitt might have seemed like the perfect summer movie, so you had to wonder a bit why it wasn’t one. Then too, given the film’s late-September, quasi-no-man’s-land release date, it didn’t exactly sound like awards material either (though people have already started to talk about it in that way). Baseball movies, for whatever reason, have historically been underachievers at the box office (Moneyball‘s $20.6 million take makes it the all-time opening-weekend champ for a baseball flick), so the expectations were at a relatively low ebb when I first saw the movie a couple of weeks ago at the Toronto International Film Festival. (What was a baseball movie doing at TIFF anyway?) Yet from that moment, right up until this very moment, I have yet to meet anyone who’s seen Moneyball who doesn’t like it a lot. The picture is incredibly shrewd entertainment, lively and original and full of surprise, directed and acted with great passion and skill. READ FULL STORY
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