~MONEYBALL with BRAD PITT & JONAH HILL
‘MONEYBALL’ – DIRECTED BY BENNETT MILLER
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH, OCT 13, 2011
yep, this movie is all its cracked up be, and more.
swift script, great story. beautiful beautiful cinematography and editing. all the actors inhabit their roles, and hold you glued to the screen, whether it’s the star – whose golden boy looks have been toned down somewhat, whether it’s Jonah Hill who doesn’t say much – but cracks you up, or PHILLIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN – with his authentic meaty freckled forearms – the obstinate bull-headed coach who doesn’t get it – to the sweet little girl, KERRIS DORSEY who plays Brad Pitt’s onscreen daughter – and has to sing out loud – in front of Brad Pit (!!) and a huge film audience – and whose nervousness – seems pretty much – just how you’d feel in that mind boggling situation – and never mind, just 13.
an ode to the underdog . . . to contrarians everywhere . . . to people who just know. . . . when the new game is on, the old game is over. . . way before anyone else has even caught on – that things have changed, big time. it’s not exactly the big win – but that’s also what’s so great about it. its all about the: process, the mind-think that turns big ships – 180 degrees. in the opposite direction.
BRAD PITT – is Billy Beane. besides living in a charmingly underscored small home with ‘souvenir’ plates mounted on the kitchen wall (!!) – and he is hyper – a real speedball. his relentless intensity radiates from the screen. spit that tobacco chaw in the paper cup, boy.
JONAH HILL – I guess I started to love him after his brilliant turn in ‘GET HIM TO THE GREEK’. it’s not easy to be the schlump opposite the golden boys. esp the smart one. the first time he comes onscreen in ‘MONEYBALL’ – is just so kick-ass backwards – it’s exquisite. and way underplayed, too. it’s just great. I nearly fell out of my theater seat from laughing and my next door neighbor had to give me a couple of sharp elbow jabs – to get me to settle down. and all he does is, not much. but that not much – is ALL.
it’s like what we like say in the art world: less is more. He just pops up as part of an ensemble of mid-level suits in an office and the camera actually forgets about him, as it pans to the right. oh, what a sweet directorial move. they cut it, just right. right on the digital dot. cracked me up. right there.
(not to mention. just change one single letter in his character’s last name, from Brand to Brant – and you got Peter Brant – a big time art world player. . . a little chuckle for the insiders, or what..)
the rest of the hand-picked crew is right on too. from the colorful cast of gritty two-bit characters who play the hard-knock talent scouts, to the first baseball club owner – the small market league owner. no, no and no – but bring in the wins. that’d be the Oakland A’s. to the suave money no problemo – owner of the big market Chicago White Sox. pitch perfect.
in fact, let’s just leave it at that: ‘MONEYBALL’ – is pitch perfect. obstinate, hyper and contrarian . . . just the way we like it.