I am not a baseball fan. The game is just too slow for me and has too many statistics with which to keep up. I don’t wanna be doing math while I’m trying to play games… Moneyball is about baseball. Strike one…

It’s the story of Billy Beane. He’s a former professional baseball player who finds he’s better as a coach than a player. He’s the coach of the Oakland A’s and they are losing every game. He hires Peter Brand – a recent economics graduate working in the office of the Cleveland Indians – to help him build a winning team based on statistics. And it works.

Beane and Brand manage to put together a team of supposed misfits that end up winning 20 consecutive games and set a league record. It’s an against-the-odds baseball story. Another one. Strike two…

To cut to the chase, there is no strike 3; This film is not a total strike out. I did like it. Not to mention, in addition to setting a record, Beane and Brand’s theories changed how baseball is managed. They changed the way insiders think about the game and that certainly deserves more than a pat on the back.

Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane and Jonah Hill plays Peter Brand. We even get Philip Seymour Hoffman as the team manager, Art Howe. Great cast. And the story is good even if it’s been done a hundred times or so. But, it has been done before and evoked a stronger reaction, so, I want to focus on the individual performances.

Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman were great compliments to Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane. But, Brad Pitt really made me think he was Billy Beane. That’s my litmus test – can an actor make me forget they’re playing a role. Brad did it.

And that’s significant because, as confessed in the first line of this post, I don’t like baseball and have little historical knowledge of the game, its players, the teams. That’s where this movie stand’s out for me. Brad Pitt successfully portrayed a character for which I knew nothing and convinced me.

There’s been lots of talk about an Oscar nomination for Pitt and I hope he gets it. Beyond the nomination, I have no preference for whether he wins. I’ve already seen several movies with strong performances; Maybe more compelling because of the stories surrounding them, so, I’m happy to let the masses make the final decision.

But, overall, what made this movie was Pitt’s performance.

The word is that Brad Pitt spent years attempting to get this film made. Kudos to him for sticking it out and getting another story of the underdog told, but, I think the best we can hope for is his nomination. Pitt gets this movie to a triple; There are other films this year that hit a home run…