starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright
screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, based on the book by Michael Lewis
directed by Bennett Miller
by Angelo Muredda Moneyball arrives after years in development hell with nearly as much baggage as the Oakland A's. A Steven Soderbergh project scrapped at the eleventh hour of pre-production and inherited by a high-pedigree team composed of Capote director Bennett Miller and scribes Steven Zaillian (the lone holdover) and Aaron Sorkin, it's as much a reinvention of the discarded film--apparently pitched as a data-saturated docudrama--as it is an adaptation of Michael Lewis's best-selling non-fiction book of the same name. No matter: Soderbergh successfully redirected his energy into Contagion, a snappy procedural lobbed to the same stats fetishists who might've warmed to his Moneyball, while Miller has delivered an affecting and deceptively conventional baseball movie that works on its own terms. Oscar-bait it might be, but Moneyball is surprisingly fresh, especially in how it shifts focus from the unexpected winners that most sports stories fawn over to a few perpetual losers who live off the wistful fumes of second-place finishes.