Moneyball – A Preview

The second sporting film to be released in Korea this month is Moneyball, a film based on a book of the same name written by Michael Lewis.  Seeing as Moneyball is about Baseball, a sport that I have no interest in whatsoever, you would think that this film wouldn’t appeal to me in the slightest.  I enjoyed Major League enough, but it’s just not cricket, is it?  However, the ultimate test for a sports film is its ability to appeal to everyone and not just fans of that particular sport.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Moneyball, it follows the General Manager of the Oakland A’s, Billy Beane, (Brad Pitt), who is finding it hard to compete with the bigger teams that can attract the better players due to higher salaries.  To give himself a chance of ever winning the World Series, he has to come up with some kind of advantage while working within his means.  How does he do this?  By using a “modernized, analytical, sabermetric approach” to assemble a competitive baseball team that can compete with the big boys. 

 

While the book was a huge success, the film is having a similar impact with extremely positive reviews which suggests that it will indeed appeal to a wide audience.  A great achievement considering the film almost never came into existence.  The rights to the book were bought in 2004, but it wasn’t until Brad Pitt came onboard in 2007 that the project took off.  David Frankel, who directed The Devil Wears Prada, was set to helm the film but was replaced with Steven Soderbergh.  Then days before filming, creative differences meant that Steven Soderbergh was relieved of his directing duties as the studio thought his ideas to interview real life players and to give the film more of a documentary style in places were “non-traditional for a sports movie”.  Eventually, Bennet Miller of Capote fame was hired to direct, the godfather of dialogue, Aaron Sorkin, came in to rewrite the script and finally the film went into production in early 2010. 

Their appear to be several differences between the true story and the movie, the most notable being Brad Pitt is much better looking that the real life Billy Beane and Jonah Hill’s character doesn’t even exist!  But despite the artistic license the creative team has used, it seems like they have produced a film that will have everyone cheering for the little guy against all odds that I look forward too seeing.  Even if it isn’t cricket!

 

Categories: Film, Previews

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