?Moneyball? review: Brad Pitt?s best (and hottest) performance ever?


OK, I went to see Moneyball with my mother yesterday, and something really weird happened: my mother is now in love with Brad Pitt. She always sort-of liked him, as is she would say things like ?He?s very pretty and kind of talented, meh.? But she was having a hot flash for him in Moneyball. It helps that all of a sudden, Brad looks a hell of a lot like Robert Redford. He?s always been Redford-ish, and obviously, people have always made the Pitt-Redford comparison, but this movie? dear God, Brad looks good. So much of the movie is based on his face in closeup too - and you know what, Pitt-haters? He doesn?t look like he?s had any work done on his face, at all. His eyes are lined and baggy. His skin is sagging a bit. But he looks like what he is: a very, very attractive man in his 40s. My mom kept saying, ?He doesn?t look young any more. He doesn?t look a pretty young guy now. He?s filled out, and DAMN it looks good.?

Of course, it helps that the movie was really, really good. The theatre I went to was packed, with men and women of all ages. I was surprised that there weren?t more kids there - not little kids, but like 10-13 year-olds, because I could see this being a film that would be nice for a father to see with his tween son or daughter. It?s a surprisingly clean, well-acted, charming story. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it too - it?s not some art-house flick about math and a boring general manager of a baseball team. There are some funny lines, there?s a lot of heart and sweetness, and the story was just told in a great way.

If you don?t know the basics of the plot by now - it?s just about Oakland As general manager Billy Beane, and how he challenged professional baseball by disregarding the traditional thinking of how to put together a team. Instead of listening to scouts and trying to buy the best known players, Beane hires Peter Brand, a young Yalie who convinced Beane to put together a team of misfits and undervalued players using computer analysis and cold, hard numbers. Jonah Hill (under)plays Brand brilliantly, and Joanh and Brad?s chemistry is really sweet. Jonah really impressed me - I didn?t know he could do this kind of understated dramatic role, and he just nailed it.

Other notables: Robin Wright?s role (as Beane?s ex-wife and mother of his daughter) was very simple, but she made an impression. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the A?s manager Art Howe, who? I hope wasn?t this big of a d-bag. There were also a scene-stealing performances by Chris Pratt (who played Scott Hatteberg, a first-baseman who was scared of the ball) and Kerris Dorsey, who played Beane?s daughter. She was adorable.

Oh, and if Brad doesn?t get an Oscar nomination for this movie, I?ll eat my hat. It was so wonderful to see him do this kind of mainstream, Robert Redford-ish film. I?m still giggling over one scene in which Beane, who is always eating, is anxious about a trade, so in-between calls he begins to panic-eat by shoving a handful of stuff (popcorn?) into his mouth.



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