Friday, January 13, 2012

Moneyball (2011), just a taste

Just a taste because I'm planning to be back with Moneyball for a specific analysis to what I believe to be the brilliant work of powerhouse screenwriters Steve Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin. For now, let me stay with a general appreciation.

I seldom like sports movies. I find them particularly difficult to connect with, for sport breeds out of the immediacy of its single moments. The last hurdle, the last stroke, the last jump, the goal. The looming energy that powers collision between men and nature and between men themselves cannot be rehearsed and recorded sports events cannot fulfill us with the mystical satisfaction of physical conquering, if only a nostalgic flavor of it. Moneyball never tries to sell such moments as the ultimate arching goals of the story. Instead, it is driven by the backstage story of Billy Beaner while reforming baseball's management style as part of an unconscious life-examining quest. The main bases are the promising player he never became and the will and opportunity of never letting go an adorable twelve year old daughter. He is a logic cold-hearted business man as much of a temperamental intuitive heart-melted fan. He is the paradoxical faithful pragmatist and grabs Peter Brand to travel along into a journey much more about triumphing for their beliefs than storing loads of billions of dollars. We can connect with that. We take sports from the backstage all the time and during this film we're there with them. Actual footage transports us to an intermittent game precisely as Beaner deals with it. Exquisite sound editing bounces between his isolation and the cheering stadiums, as the green-yellow stripes and outfits wrap the space into a communion of a true team. I would be pleased to see Brad Pitt stepping to an Oscar and would consider the nomination for Jonah Hill and Seymour Hoffman. It is incredible the amount of masterfully held exposition we're thrown at without us even realizing it due to the sorkinesque snappy intelligent dialog, the depth of Beaner's character, the funny vein of some scenes and the wise camera and editing.

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