The relationship of the players in the Moneyball game is so complex and enthralling that Brad Pitt doesn’t even need a romantic partner to attract and sustain our attention. As Billy Beane, he is the general manager of an Oakland Athletics team of nearly a decade ago. Jonah Hill stars beside him aa just-out-of-college statistical whiz (Peter Brand) who claims clairvoyant powers in predicting the future performance of players–not on concepts and stats such as BA, HR, or EPA, but by mundane (on base-percentage) and other more-hidden formulae as well.
Even someone with a doctorate in chemistry would have a hard time describing how two utterly dissimilar characters as Beane and Brand could create their own inseparable and winning bond. Beane–who could just as easily step in or out of Taft High School as character Danny in Grease, socially adroit, charming and even-slick-turning-to-smarmy–recognizes the savvy in Brand, an Ivy League guy who incidentally might have won the science fair in cryptography at The Bronx High School of Science.
You’ll enjoy the baseball and you’ll be touched by Billy Beane/Brad Pitt and how his tween-age daughter remains #1 in his life. Many who see this movie will become introspective later and wonder about the evolving role of statistical prediction in fields like education, medicine, government, and even the dearest and closest to our heart avocations like baseball and how we spend our free time.
(This blog/film review is written by our regular contributor, Dr. William Van Ornum)