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Moneyball – Even the Losers Get Lucky Sometimes

There is a reason we have long since married our American spirit to baseball, and a reason why it’s the only sport with any romanticism attached to it, and there’s a reason why the camera loves baseball movies.  The crack of the ball hitting the bat, that ten seconds of waiting to see where the ball will go, writing your ending off a wing and a prayer.  But it isn’t just the hit, it’s the catcher, the pitcher, the outfielder, the umpire – it’s the three strikes – it’s the boys of summer, the cheering fans, and it’s the movies.  The relationship of baseball to the big screen is as American as rolled up blue jeans, the Mississippi Delta and the stuff of dreams – the audacity of imagining the impossible.

America and baseball and movies – this enduring love story is revived once again in Bennett Miller’s subtle, effective telling of the Oakland A’s inexplicable winning streak, turning their own history around with the help of statistical analysis.  One of the key lines in the film is about money – “money is never a reason to do anything.”  Yet the big show, we know, is almost all about money – how much can you afford to pay a player to win the game?  Can you still play the game if you can’t come up with the millions of dollars it takes?

But fans don’t gather in the stands to watch the money — not for any sport, but certainly not for baseball. We’re there for the game, the crack of the bat, the shut-out, the one time when an unlikely player hits a home run, even if he himself doesn’t know it until the crowd cheers.  Baseball, it’s full of all of the things that make life worth living, even when it’s less about winning and more about losing.  When you get used to losing, the successes, the minor victories, the winning streaks are all the sweeter.

We already knew that Steve Zaillion and Aaron Sorkin would turn out a good script.  What I’d been hearing was that the writing held the thing up and that it wasn’t much more than that.  Those early judgments turned out to be wrong — what makes Moneyball so good is more about the directing and the acting than it is even about the writing. I know, imagine me saying such a thing about something Sorkin has touched, but believe me, Bennett Miller’s direction is, ultimately, what makes Moneyball work so well.  He sees in there a story that I don’t think anyone else could have seen.

The greatness of Moneyball is partly in the big scenes, yes.  But it is mostly in the tight closeups of Brad Pitt’s face, a face that has now evolved out of boyhood at last, and become the actor’s canvas he’s promised throughout his career.  His beauty has blinded us in many ways to what’s going on beyond it, but here, because Bennett Miller knows how to shoot him, especially in closeup, we see, finally, the deeper emotions at play.  I don’t think Robert Redford ever got here.  Warren Beatty certainly did, not that the Academy ever rewarded him for it.

Pitt’s Billy Beane is not completely true to history, as Steve Pond tells me, but that hardly matters because the facts of this thing take a back seat to his character’s arc. Moneyball is about a player who gave up a full scholarship to Stanford to play pro ball because a baseball scout saw in him the stuff that big money winners are built on.  But Beane couldn’t cut it.  He never lived up to those expectations, and when baseball was done with him what did he have left?  He ends up becoming the general manager of the Oakland A’s.  He’s trained to not get too close to players, to always stay ahead of the attachment and the sentiment.  But because he used to be a player he understands the game from a player’s perspective, not from a scout’s or an owner’s.

Beane’s own failure drives his motives here: pick the losers because they get on base.  Forget the expensive “stars.”  He shook up the game, was hated by everyone, until he changed how the game was played.  Of course, in real life this was not so much the case, apparently.  But that hardly matters because this is a story being told on screen.  It’s a story about winners and losers.  The true story can exist too.  The movie doesn’t change history — but it might change our own perception of what it means to be good at baseball.

Personal failure is a funny thing.  In many respects, Moneyball will hit directly in the heart for those who have been through the stages of life where they watched their dreams become compromises.  They learned to adjust, to accept that dreams can only float upward for so long. Sooner or later, they have no way to go but down.  But we know, don’t we, that life is much more about what happens while you’re busy making other plans.  Who knew that Miller, Zaillian and Sorkin could tell this truth so well.

Every time you hear someone say “it’s not an Oscar movie” that lifts its chances higher.  It’s a funny thing, the Oscar race.  It’s all about managing expectations.   But if it were me I wouldn’t underestimate it – not for its director, who holds this story together with all of the different forces, including non-actors in important roles, not for its star, who turns in the best performance of his career, not for its supporting players, especially Jonah Hill, but Philip Seymour Hoffman too, as the hard-hearted, ego-driven coach.

Moneyball wasn’t propositioned as an “Oscar movie” and in fact, after seeing it last night I was greeted with a lot of “I am not seeing Best Picture here,” and “I don’t think the Academy is going to go for it.”   Those responses made me smile a little – because, damn it all, if that wasn’t the theme of Moneyball playing out.  Why, because this idea of “show ponies” is proven wrong year after year (with the possible exception of last year), just as it is in baseball, and yet no one wants the game to change.  A good movie like Moneyball only gets better odds if it ISN’T thought of as an Oscar movie heading into the race.  Do you see what they did there?

And the fact is that the only thing anyone, especially Oscar bloggers, should concern themselves with isn’t dumbing themselves down to keep Oscar’s taste in their comfortable box (although Moneyball fits nicely in there too) but to celebrate a great movie.  Oscar voters are people too and people respond to films that this well directed, well acted and well written. So when Kris Tapley and Steve Pond say to me “it’s a good movie but …I don’t see AMPAS going for it.” I take the first part and disregard the rest.  Why, because nobody knows anything.  The one thing I do know, and have learned, is a good movie is a good movie is a good movie.   It’s one thing to expect them to vote down the crowd favorite, The King’s Speech. It’s a whole other thing to see them not vote for a crowdpleaser like Moneyball. When you’re talking about nominees, you always want to find a movie like Moneyball because it will never be polarizing, it is populated with very well liked people, from its writers to its directors to its stars to its subject matter.   The only thing that stands in Moneyball’s way right now is what the major critics will think.  That matters a lot more than what Oscar bloggers think.

So what is Moneyball about?  It’s about recognizing the gifts of people who aren’t stars, who have been forgotten, who, working together, become winners.  Sure, many films about baseball are about losers: Bull Durham and Crash Davis who has to go play in the minor leagues and redesign his later life as a coach.  Field of Dreams is about the White Sox who were greeted with disgrace when they fixed a game – and how, for them, it was always about the game.  But we know from these movies, and now from Moneyball, that money is often the reason the game of baseball can feel so rotten — at the heart of it is the glorious game.  The game is the reason they start playing as kids, and it’s the reason they can’t let go as adults.

Yes, the numbers game turns people off, especially the old timers who don’t want to see the game change. But money already changed the game.  Big, big money.  What Beane does in this film is true to who he is: a forgotten player whose moment in the sun was never realized.  He gave up a life for the game.  Adapt or die.  He learns this and it inspires him to do just that.  So for once, the losers are more valuable than the winners.  We sometimes forget that what we already have is more valuable than what we want.

 

0 Comments on this Post

  1. julian the emperor

    I agree with your sentiment that a good movie is a good movie, also when it comes to the Academy. When people say that for example Drive is not an Oscar movie, I think, but if it is good and critically applauded, then why not? The violence will be off-putting to some, sure, but the same can be said for a lot of past winners of bp as well! I thin the issue at stake here is not so much what does or doesn’t constitute an Oscar movie (nobody can tell, there is no clear-cut formula), but rather, what type of film gets presented to the Academy through the media, the business itself, and bloggers as well. If a movie is not perceived as a probable Oscar movie, the it can very well turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is the danger. If, one the other hand, a movie like The Hurt Locker or No Country for Old Men (not your typical Oscar winners), get invited into the discussion and are seen as movies worthy of scrutiny, rather than off-putting, violent flicks that deal with uncomfortable thematics, they are very much in the game. There are no rules, except the ones we impose by our own rigid standards (“we” usually referring to the business itself, I suppose).

  2. julian the emperor

    I agree with your sentiment that a good movie is a good movie, also when it comes to the Academy. When people say that for example Drive is not an Oscar movie, I think, but if it is good and critically applauded, then why not? The violence will be off-putting to some, sure, but the same can be said for a lot of past winners of bp as well! I thin the issue at stake here is not so much what does or doesn’t constitute an Oscar movie (nobody can tell, there is no clear-cut formula), but rather, what type of film gets presented to the Academy through the media, the business itself, and bloggers as well. If a movie is not perceived as a probable Oscar movie, the it can very well turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is the danger. If, one the other hand, a movie like The Hurt Locker or No Country for Old Men (not your typical Oscar winners), get invited into the discussion and are seen as movies worthy of scrutiny, rather than off-putting, violent flicks that deal with uncomfortable thematics, they are very much in the game. There are no rules, except the ones we impose by our own rigid standards (“we” usually referring to the business itself, I suppose).

  3. Thanks sasha i will check it out,This awards season will be tough lots of different things to offer

  4. Thanks sasha i will check it out,This awards season will be tough lots of different things to offer

  5. julian the emperor

    Oh yeah, and any article that makes me hum a Tom Petty tune (he has a knack for melodic middle eights like no one else!), is fine with me:)

  6. julian the emperor

    Oh yeah, and any article that makes me hum a Tom Petty tune (he has a knack for melodic middle eights like no one else!), is fine with me:)

  7. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    When people say that for example Drive is not an Oscar movie, I think, but if it is good and critically applauded, then why not?

    I totally agree. My problem, and my only problem, with Drive is that it supposedly got a low cinemascore rating so I was worried that general audiences aren’t responding. But for some reason Drive has that heat thing about it that won’t let me let it go. I don’t think, for instance, and never have, that the Oscar race is static. I think it’s fluid. Meaning, if people keep talking about a movie like Drive that keeps it in the conversation and that gets it votes. We’re not yet to the National Board of Review or the top tens or the WGA, DGA – a long season ahead. But if you start with “it’s a good movie” that’s the best place to start. Right now, the rest of it doesn’t really matter.

  8. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    When people say that for example Drive is not an Oscar movie, I think, but if it is good and critically applauded, then why not?

    I totally agree. My problem, and my only problem, with Drive is that it supposedly got a low cinemascore rating so I was worried that general audiences aren’t responding. But for some reason Drive has that heat thing about it that won’t let me let it go. I don’t think, for instance, and never have, that the Oscar race is static. I think it’s fluid. Meaning, if people keep talking about a movie like Drive that keeps it in the conversation and that gets it votes. We’re not yet to the National Board of Review or the top tens or the WGA, DGA – a long season ahead. But if you start with “it’s a good movie” that’s the best place to start. Right now, the rest of it doesn’t really matter.

  9. julian the emperor

    “But if you start with “it’s a good movie” that’s the best place to start. Right now, the rest of it doesn’t really matter.”

    Very true!
    As Oscar watchers that is the only way to retain a firm grip on this whole spectacle. If we don’t think that way (which, in its nature, is an optimistic frame of mind), we would definitely succumb to paranoia and, eventually, a state of catatonic depression;)
    So until proven wrong, a good movie is a good movie is a probable Oscar movie…

  10. julian the emperor

    “But if you start with “it’s a good movie” that’s the best place to start. Right now, the rest of it doesn’t really matter.”

    Very true!
    As Oscar watchers that is the only way to retain a firm grip on this whole spectacle. If we don’t think that way (which, in its nature, is an optimistic frame of mind), we would definitely succumb to paranoia and, eventually, a state of catatonic depression;)
    So until proven wrong, a good movie is a good movie is a probable Oscar movie…

  11. @sasha and julian

    completely agree! its up to us to try to keep the conversation going on films like “drive” and make them part of the oscar conversation by force instead of just saying “its not an oscar-type movie”.

    “And the fact is that the only thing anyone, especially Oscar bloggers, should concern themselves with isn’t dumbing themselves down to keep Oscar’s taste in their comfortable box (although Moneyball fits nicely in there too) but to celebrate a great movie. ” – sasha

    this is also exceptionally well said. thanks!

  12. @sasha and julian

    completely agree! its up to us to try to keep the conversation going on films like “drive” and make them part of the oscar conversation by force instead of just saying “its not an oscar-type movie”.

    “And the fact is that the only thing anyone, especially Oscar bloggers, should concern themselves with isn’t dumbing themselves down to keep Oscar’s taste in their comfortable box (although Moneyball fits nicely in there too) but to celebrate a great movie. ” – sasha

    this is also exceptionally well said. thanks!

  13. I can’t wait for this one! I’ve been wanting to see it since the first trailer. Written by Zaillian & Sorkin? Directed by Miller? Starring Pitt, Hill, Hoffman, and Wright? Cinematography by Pfister? I’m there.

  14. I can’t wait for this one! I’ve been wanting to see it since the first trailer. Written by Zaillian & Sorkin? Directed by Miller? Starring Pitt, Hill, Hoffman, and Wright? Cinematography by Pfister? I’m there.

  15. Watched the full trailer last night, it looks fantastic. I would be surprised if anyone here loves baseball movies more then I do. I think I’ve seen like 20+ and I count at least 2 amongst my Top 20 favorites of all time.

  16. Watched the full trailer last night, it looks fantastic. I would be surprised if anyone here loves baseball movies more then I do. I think I’ve seen like 20+ and I count at least 2 amongst my Top 20 favorites of all time.

  17. Um, Harry Potter isn’t an “Oscar type movie” either, but as you guys say “a good movie is a good movie” and when it comes to the last installment it’s not just good, it’s GREAT!

  18. Um, Harry Potter isn’t an “Oscar type movie” either, but as you guys say “a good movie is a good movie” and when it comes to the last installment it’s not just good, it’s GREAT!

  19. So I guess the question then is, why is there no talk of not under-estimating Potter?

  20. So I guess the question then is, why is there no talk of not under-estimating Potter?

  21. himynameiscole

    sahsa, if you think this is the best of pitt’s career, do you think he is at least a solid lock for a nom, if not the frontrunner?

  22. himynameiscole

    sahsa, if you think this is the best of pitt’s career, do you think he is at least a solid lock for a nom, if not the frontrunner?

  23. I mean do you guys not see how hypocritical the articles and viewpoints of this site are? LOL

  24. I mean do you guys not see how hypocritical the articles and viewpoints of this site are? LOL

  25. himynameiscole

    scott, man, we get it. you love harry potter and want it to do well at the oscars. i love drive and want it to do well. but i’m not going to start a why the hell is drive not going to be nominated for everything in each thread.

  26. himynameiscole

    scott, man, we get it. you love harry potter and want it to do well at the oscars. i love drive and want it to do well. but i’m not going to start a why the hell is drive not going to be nominated for everything in each thread.

  27. Now back to this movie, it’s going to be hard to top Bull Durham and Field of Dreams but as an overly analytical person and someone who tends to obsess over statistics the storyline has me quite giddy…

  28. Now back to this movie, it’s going to be hard to top Bull Durham and Field of Dreams but as an overly analytical person and someone who tends to obsess over statistics the storyline has me quite giddy…

  29. @himynameiscole

    Hmm, did they just remove Drive from the contender tracker for Best Picture as well? I could have swore I saw it on there the other day…

  30. @himynameiscole

    Hmm, did they just remove Drive from the contender tracker for Best Picture as well? I could have swore I saw it on there the other day…

  31. Really though, I think it’s going to be a different ballgame this year and to exclude the Top 2 best reviewed films of the year just because they are not “Oscar movies” is pretty ridiculous…

  32. Really though, I think it’s going to be a different ballgame this year and to exclude the Top 2 best reviewed films of the year just because they are not “Oscar movies” is pretty ridiculous…

  33. himynameiscole

    drive isn’t on the contender tracker for best picture right now.

  34. himynameiscole

    drive isn’t on the contender tracker for best picture right now.

  35. himynameiscole

    haha, whoops i saw you said you saw it the other day. it’s gone! noooo

    i can’t wait to see moneyball, regardless.

  36. himynameiscole

    haha, whoops i saw you said you saw it the other day. it’s gone! noooo

    i can’t wait to see moneyball, regardless.

  37. I see that, and that’s exactly my point, it’s 2nd best reviewed so far after Potter and they’ve removed it now as well…utterly ridiculous.

  38. I see that, and that’s exactly my point, it’s 2nd best reviewed so far after Potter and they’ve removed it now as well…utterly ridiculous.

  39. Again, these are the only films so far to score 85+ from the BFCA, which has been the most accurate qualifier the last few years (20 for 20)

    Drive- 91
    The Help- 89
    Moneyball- 91
    Midnight in Paris- 85
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2- 93
    The Guard – 90
    Rango- 89
    Win Win- 90
    Super 8- 88
    X-Men: First Class- 87

  40. Again, these are the only films so far to score 85+ from the BFCA, which has been the most accurate qualifier the last few years (20 for 20)

    Drive- 91
    The Help- 89
    Moneyball- 91
    Midnight in Paris- 85
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2- 93
    The Guard – 90
    Rango- 89
    Win Win- 90
    Super 8- 88
    X-Men: First Class- 87

  41. @Scott & himynameisnicole,

    The contender tracker changes all the time. It’ll flux back – like Sasha says above, it’s a fluid race. Things will swing back Potter’s way when the studios start their push. Drive’s push will almost entirely depend on them promoting Gosling and Brooks on performance, and Refn’s direction.

    And yes, I loved Drive, too.

  42. @Scott & himynameisnicole,

    The contender tracker changes all the time. It’ll flux back – like Sasha says above, it’s a fluid race. Things will swing back Potter’s way when the studios start their push. Drive’s push will almost entirely depend on them promoting Gosling and Brooks on performance, and Refn’s direction.

    And yes, I loved Drive, too.

  43. Granted with the “new ballgame” we could see below 85’s slip in, but I still think Tree of Life should be removed from the contender tracker as well.

  44. Granted with the “new ballgame” we could see below 85’s slip in, but I still think Tree of Life should be removed from the contender tracker as well.

  45. And do people seriously think The Artist is going to be nominated? Sure history might have no effect on this year…but not only is it a silent film (which bore me out of my mind) it’s also foreign right? And only a select few foreign films have ever cracked the big one.

  46. And do people seriously think The Artist is going to be nominated? Sure history might have no effect on this year…but not only is it a silent film (which bore me out of my mind) it’s also foreign right? And only a select few foreign films have ever cracked the big one.

  47. himynameiscole

    honestly, i never pay attention to the tracker until november/december anyways. i had no clue drive was even up there and had gone down, and it doesn’t bother me.

    does anyone think that moneyball has any chance to open number one with the lion king still killing it?

  48. himynameiscole

    honestly, i never pay attention to the tracker until november/december anyways. i had no clue drive was even up there and had gone down, and it doesn’t bother me.

    does anyone think that moneyball has any chance to open number one with the lion king still killing it?

  49. Stop reading this site then, or at least bombarding every article with your <3 – Potter – comments?

  50. Stop reading this site then, or at least bombarding every article with your <3 – Potter – comments?

  51. Gentle Benj

    In 2009 and 2010, we had five out of ten Best Picture nominees released by the very start of October:

    DISTRICT 9
    THE HURT LOCKER
    INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
    A SERIOUS MAN
    UP

    INCEPTION
    THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
    THE SOCIAL NETWORK
    TOY STORY 3
    WINTER’S BONE

    This year, since we don’t know how many BP nominees there will be, the best approach is to figure out a slate of ten, and whittle down from there. And as Beth reminds us, BFCA scores are our best indicator; you have to go back to 2003 to find a BP nominees that didn’t have a four-star, 80+, Critics’ Choice rating from the BFCA. So what do we have so far?

    RANGO
    MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    SUPER 8
    HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2
    THE HELP
    DRIVE
    and now, MONEYBALL.

    Following the pattern of 2009 and 2010, five of those will make the top ten. I think it’s pretty obvious that the two most vulnerable are RANGO and SUPER 8. So that’s half the slate done.

    The festival receptions for THE ARTIST and THE DESCENDANTS have made their trajectories pretty clear, so they’re in too. That’s seven. TINKER’s reception is strong enough to count it in, so that’s eight. That leaves two slots for the unknown quantities (WAR HORSE, DRAGON TATTOO, EXTREMELY LOUD) and the Sundance darling of the year (MMMM), to fight over. I’d go with MMMM and WAR HORSE.

    THE ARTIST
    THE DESCENDANTS
    DRIVE
    HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2
    THE HELP
    MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
    MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY
    WAR HORSE

    If there are six nominees, or eight, we’d have to guess at which films would make which cutoffs, but again, I think we’re better off predicting ten and letting the new rule do what it will.

  52. Gentle Benj

    In 2009 and 2010, we had five out of ten Best Picture nominees released by the very start of October:

    DISTRICT 9
    THE HURT LOCKER
    INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
    A SERIOUS MAN
    UP

    INCEPTION
    THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
    THE SOCIAL NETWORK
    TOY STORY 3
    WINTER’S BONE

    This year, since we don’t know how many BP nominees there will be, the best approach is to figure out a slate of ten, and whittle down from there. And as Beth reminds us, BFCA scores are our best indicator; you have to go back to 2003 to find a BP nominees that didn’t have a four-star, 80+, Critics’ Choice rating from the BFCA. So what do we have so far?

    RANGO
    MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    SUPER 8
    HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2
    THE HELP
    DRIVE
    and now, MONEYBALL.

    Following the pattern of 2009 and 2010, five of those will make the top ten. I think it’s pretty obvious that the two most vulnerable are RANGO and SUPER 8. So that’s half the slate done.

    The festival receptions for THE ARTIST and THE DESCENDANTS have made their trajectories pretty clear, so they’re in too. That’s seven. TINKER’s reception is strong enough to count it in, so that’s eight. That leaves two slots for the unknown quantities (WAR HORSE, DRAGON TATTOO, EXTREMELY LOUD) and the Sundance darling of the year (MMMM), to fight over. I’d go with MMMM and WAR HORSE.

    THE ARTIST
    THE DESCENDANTS
    DRIVE
    HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2
    THE HELP
    MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
    MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY
    WAR HORSE

    If there are six nominees, or eight, we’d have to guess at which films would make which cutoffs, but again, I think we’re better off predicting ten and letting the new rule do what it will.

  53. Scott,

    The Artist has as good a chance as Harry Potter, Moneyball, Tree of Life at this point…it is almost flawlessly adored on the festival circuit and it’s a movie about old Hollywood – the AMPAS will probably love it.

    Regardless, this just reiterates the point that every film has a chance right now.

  54. Scott,

    The Artist has as good a chance as Harry Potter, Moneyball, Tree of Life at this point…it is almost flawlessly adored on the festival circuit and it’s a movie about old Hollywood – the AMPAS will probably love it.

    Regardless, this just reiterates the point that every film has a chance right now.

  55. Interesting analysis. More of less how I view it. If we were still talking the system adopted after TDK was snubbed I think we’d be looking at Potter already locked and the other probables as Midnight In Paris, Drive, Moneyball, and The Help. That’d give the 5 before October that both 2009 and 2010 had. But…as others have noted I’m afraid the new rule is going to mean exclusion of the less standard fare and back to more of the typical “Oscar bait” stuff.

  56. Interesting analysis. More of less how I view it. If we were still talking the system adopted after TDK was snubbed I think we’d be looking at Potter already locked and the other probables as Midnight In Paris, Drive, Moneyball, and The Help. That’d give the 5 before October that both 2009 and 2010 had. But…as others have noted I’m afraid the new rule is going to mean exclusion of the less standard fare and back to more of the typical “Oscar bait” stuff.

  57. i think its fair to say that “tree of life” is still the best reviewed movie of the year… there’s a lot of films to come out still, but i would be willing to bet it places higher on the compiled critics top 10 list than any other film yet released.

    trying to get back on topic… i’m very excited to “moneyball” possibly pitt’s best performance? wow! that’s saying something considering “jesse james” amongst others… also, in my opinion, there hasn’t been near enough buzz about sorkin’s next script (moneyball). After what he achieved last year with his screenplay for “social network” i can say i’m almost as excited to see what he has penned as much as i am to see any of the actors or directors this oscar season.

  58. i think its fair to say that “tree of life” is still the best reviewed movie of the year… there’s a lot of films to come out still, but i would be willing to bet it places higher on the compiled critics top 10 list than any other film yet released.

    trying to get back on topic… i’m very excited to “moneyball” possibly pitt’s best performance? wow! that’s saying something considering “jesse james” amongst others… also, in my opinion, there hasn’t been near enough buzz about sorkin’s next script (moneyball). After what he achieved last year with his screenplay for “social network” i can say i’m almost as excited to see what he has penned as much as i am to see any of the actors or directors this oscar season.

  59. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Um, Harry Potter isn’t an “Oscar type movie” either, but as you guys say “a good movie is a good movie” and when it comes to the last installment it’s not just good, it’s GREAT!

    I’m sorry to be the one to say it but Harry Potter leaves people who don’t know the books confused about what is going on. That’s its only and biggest problem.

  60. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Um, Harry Potter isn’t an “Oscar type movie” either, but as you guys say “a good movie is a good movie” and when it comes to the last installment it’s not just good, it’s GREAT!

    I’m sorry to be the one to say it but Harry Potter leaves people who don’t know the books confused about what is going on. That’s its only and biggest problem.

  61. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Putting Drive back up…

  62. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Putting Drive back up…

  63. Scott, there’s no point in bringing up foreign film statistics in relation to The Artist. So few foreign films have cracked the Oscar race because they don’t have the backing, even when they’ve got the reviews, and a lack of familiar cast and crew members doesn’t allow them to receive the attention they deserve. The Artist has been so well received by both audiences and critics thus far, does star some recognisable names, and has the Weinsteins behind it. It’s got a foot in the race already, which is what so many foreign films never achieve. And anyway, stats about foreign films aren’t particularly applicable with The Artist. It’s a silent film, and there’s no recent comparable data for silent films.

  64. Scott, there’s no point in bringing up foreign film statistics in relation to The Artist. So few foreign films have cracked the Oscar race because they don’t have the backing, even when they’ve got the reviews, and a lack of familiar cast and crew members doesn’t allow them to receive the attention they deserve. The Artist has been so well received by both audiences and critics thus far, does star some recognisable names, and has the Weinsteins behind it. It’s got a foot in the race already, which is what so many foreign films never achieve. And anyway, stats about foreign films aren’t particularly applicable with The Artist. It’s a silent film, and there’s no recent comparable data for silent films.

  65. I love the term Oscar bait. Oscar bait can still mean good film. The King’s Speech screams Oscar bait and, though I don’t feel it deserved the Oscar, it’s still a pretty solid film, overall.

    Sasha’s right – a film like HP:DH2 doesn’t resonate with Oscar voters because it’s too dependent on its audience understanding the series. LOTR pulled it off because it was three films, but all of them were good enough for Oscar. How many Harry Potter films – standing alone – really are great films? Less than half, for sure.

  66. I love the term Oscar bait. Oscar bait can still mean good film. The King’s Speech screams Oscar bait and, though I don’t feel it deserved the Oscar, it’s still a pretty solid film, overall.

    Sasha’s right – a film like HP:DH2 doesn’t resonate with Oscar voters because it’s too dependent on its audience understanding the series. LOTR pulled it off because it was three films, but all of them were good enough for Oscar. How many Harry Potter films – standing alone – really are great films? Less than half, for sure.

  67. completely agree with your last comment joshua… every word

  68. completely agree with your last comment joshua… every word

  69. Well too bad for you Scott. You’re going to be stuck with hearing about The Artist all season long. Boohoo for you.

  70. Well too bad for you Scott. You’re going to be stuck with hearing about The Artist all season long. Boohoo for you.

  71. There is something about the look and feel of this movie, just from the marketing I’ve seen of it, that is just intriguing and riveting. It reminds me a lot of the marketing campaign for another recent Aaron Sorkin work *cough* *cough* The Social Network *cough*. Not to compare the two films, me not having seen Moneyball, but it does have the same sneaky draw to it as The Social Network did. Maybe that’s just the nature of Sorkin, allowing us to be curious about the characters and the possible outcomes of their actions.

    I agree with Sasha on this movie, the best thing Moneyball right now is not having the incredibly high expectations surrounding it. Forgive the pun, but the more this thing is in left field before it sneaks up on us, the better.

    In my opinion, the Tree of Life’s chances of winning (maybe even being nominated) any major awards have nothing to do with it being anything less than excellent (by the way, it is an excellent film.) Expectations for that movie were incredibly high ever since Malick began filming, saying it was THE movie to watch this year. Ever since it came out, Tree of Life now seems like an after thought, almost like “It’ll do alright, if they like it, if they’re in the right mood.”

    Having the great performers, great director, and great writers behind Moneyball makes me believe it will be something worth watching, both literally and figuratively.

  72. There is something about the look and feel of this movie, just from the marketing I’ve seen of it, that is just intriguing and riveting. It reminds me a lot of the marketing campaign for another recent Aaron Sorkin work *cough* *cough* The Social Network *cough*. Not to compare the two films, me not having seen Moneyball, but it does have the same sneaky draw to it as The Social Network did. Maybe that’s just the nature of Sorkin, allowing us to be curious about the characters and the possible outcomes of their actions.

    I agree with Sasha on this movie, the best thing Moneyball right now is not having the incredibly high expectations surrounding it. Forgive the pun, but the more this thing is in left field before it sneaks up on us, the better.

    In my opinion, the Tree of Life’s chances of winning (maybe even being nominated) any major awards have nothing to do with it being anything less than excellent (by the way, it is an excellent film.) Expectations for that movie were incredibly high ever since Malick began filming, saying it was THE movie to watch this year. Ever since it came out, Tree of Life now seems like an after thought, almost like “It’ll do alright, if they like it, if they’re in the right mood.”

    Having the great performers, great director, and great writers behind Moneyball makes me believe it will be something worth watching, both literally and figuratively.

  73. Baseball is the only sport with any sort of romanticism associated with it? Maybe at one time this was true, but I think football is getting there too. Rudy, FNL, etc. And how about boxing? Boxing has always been there.

  74. Baseball is the only sport with any sort of romanticism associated with it? Maybe at one time this was true, but I think football is getting there too. Rudy, FNL, etc. And how about boxing? Boxing has always been there.

  75. Sure, it was all fun and games and 20-game win streaks until we in Seattle were left driving our cars into abutments in 2002. And I still can’t watch Invictus – ka mate! ka mate!

  76. Sure, it was all fun and games and 20-game win streaks until we in Seattle were left driving our cars into abutments in 2002. And I still can’t watch Invictus – ka mate! ka mate!

  77. Moneyball is written by Sorkin? Wow, I didn’t realize that. I was mainly interested in seeing it for Pitt (and my love of baseball), but now my interest has increased to genuine excitement. The Social Network was one of the best screenplays I’ve ever come across.

  78. Moneyball is written by Sorkin? Wow, I didn’t realize that. I was mainly interested in seeing it for Pitt (and my love of baseball), but now my interest has increased to genuine excitement. The Social Network was one of the best screenplays I’ve ever come across.

  79. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Baseball is the only sport with any sort of romanticism associated with it? Maybe at one time this was true, but I think football is getting there too. Rudy, FNL, etc. And how about boxing? Boxing has always been there.

    Na. No way with football, golf, wrestling….basketball maybe.

  80. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Baseball is the only sport with any sort of romanticism associated with it? Maybe at one time this was true, but I think football is getting there too. Rudy, FNL, etc. And how about boxing? Boxing has always been there.

    Na. No way with football, golf, wrestling….basketball maybe.

  81. wow….this year for movies is turning out to be awesome, at least in my personal opinion.

    Cant wait to see drive, tinker tailor soldier spy, the descendants, and moneyball…..a story I witnessed up close as an Oakland A’s fan…an OBSESSIVE fan…Ya I couldn’t be happier to hear this so thank you sasha!

    Also, when I saw that Pitt was playing Billy Beane, I knew he was the perfect man for the role, but I am a little disappointed Tom Hanks couldn’t find his way into the script, seeing that he is an extremely huge A’s fan.

    Go A’s! Moneyball FTW.

  82. wow….this year for movies is turning out to be awesome, at least in my personal opinion.

    Cant wait to see drive, tinker tailor soldier spy, the descendants, and moneyball…..a story I witnessed up close as an Oakland A’s fan…an OBSESSIVE fan…Ya I couldn’t be happier to hear this so thank you sasha!

    Also, when I saw that Pitt was playing Billy Beane, I knew he was the perfect man for the role, but I am a little disappointed Tom Hanks couldn’t find his way into the script, seeing that he is an extremely huge A’s fan.

    Go A’s! Moneyball FTW.

  83. Gentle Benj

    Remember the Titans, Rudy, Brian’s Song, Friday Night Lights–nah, no romanticism at all. ;-)

    Now, I would definitely agree that professional football lacks the romanticism of MLB baseball. But at the college level (and the high school level, in the South), football moves people to tears. A few years ago in my area, a young man named Taylor Haugen was killed by a freak hit in a high school football game. In the heart of the community, he was more than the victim of a tragic accident; he was a hero, almost as if he’d been killed in military service. I’m not saying that’s bad, I’m just saying it’s remarkable. The All-American Rejects played a free concert in his honor at the local state college. People absolutely watch football with their hearts.

  84. Gentle Benj

    Remember the Titans, Rudy, Brian’s Song, Friday Night Lights–nah, no romanticism at all. ;-)

    Now, I would definitely agree that professional football lacks the romanticism of MLB baseball. But at the college level (and the high school level, in the South), football moves people to tears. A few years ago in my area, a young man named Taylor Haugen was killed by a freak hit in a high school football game. In the heart of the community, he was more than the victim of a tragic accident; he was a hero, almost as if he’d been killed in military service. I’m not saying that’s bad, I’m just saying it’s remarkable. The All-American Rejects played a free concert in his honor at the local state college. People absolutely watch football with their hearts.

  85. julian the emperor

    Scott, your assessment on The Artist and foreign films in general borders on the downright ignorant. The AMPAS are practically invented to celebrate American cinema and American production values. Of course, the AMPAS’ choice of nominees are a reflection of that. Call it American chauvinism. Call it what you like. But you seem to find The Artist not worthwhile solely based on the fact that it is a foreign movie with a different approach to film-making. Too bad for you.

  86. julian the emperor

    Scott, your assessment on The Artist and foreign films in general borders on the downright ignorant. The AMPAS are practically invented to celebrate American cinema and American production values. Of course, the AMPAS’ choice of nominees are a reflection of that. Call it American chauvinism. Call it what you like. But you seem to find The Artist not worthwhile solely based on the fact that it is a foreign movie with a different approach to film-making. Too bad for you.

  87. Man, I would love to see Rango nominated. Really like that movie.
    Can’t wait to see Moneyball…should be catching it and Drive this weekend.

  88. Man, I would love to see Rango nominated. Really like that movie.
    Can’t wait to see Moneyball…should be catching it and Drive this weekend.

  89. I’m not sure what Sasha means really by the “romanticism” thing. It could be reference to movies like Bull Durham, For Love of the Game, etc…or the fact that we have baseball analogies for love making (ie made it to 2nd base), idk those would be my guesses. Gentle Benj is right though, as much as I hate to say it I think football has sorta taken the place of baseball as the nation’s sport. Just look at numbers for Superbowl viewing…and at the high school level, yeah it’s insane how much of their heart and soul goes into the games from the players to coaches to the entire town in some areas. If you’ve seen those aforementioned movies about h.s. football teams you know what I mean.

  90. I’m not sure what Sasha means really by the “romanticism” thing. It could be reference to movies like Bull Durham, For Love of the Game, etc…or the fact that we have baseball analogies for love making (ie made it to 2nd base), idk those would be my guesses. Gentle Benj is right though, as much as I hate to say it I think football has sorta taken the place of baseball as the nation’s sport. Just look at numbers for Superbowl viewing…and at the high school level, yeah it’s insane how much of their heart and soul goes into the games from the players to coaches to the entire town in some areas. If you’ve seen those aforementioned movies about h.s. football teams you know what I mean.

  91. No, not really Julian. I’d just like to know what’s so innovative about making a b&w silent film in today’s era? I mean I love black and white classics (silent films not so much) but that’s not innovative…it’s a step backwards and it’s just plain stupid, lol.

  92. No, not really Julian. I’d just like to know what’s so innovative about making a b&w silent film in today’s era? I mean I love black and white classics (silent films not so much) but that’s not innovative…it’s a step backwards and it’s just plain stupid, lol.

  93. It’s not a step backwards. In fact movies took a large step backwards when first going to sound (I just happened to start a mission this year to watch every best pic nom ever made). I have not yet seen the Artist, but as it’s about the period in time when the transition was leaving behind many artists, it makes complete sense to shoot it as a silent picture.

  94. It’s not a step backwards. In fact movies took a large step backwards when first going to sound (I just happened to start a mission this year to watch every best pic nom ever made). I have not yet seen the Artist, but as it’s about the period in time when the transition was leaving behind many artists, it makes complete sense to shoot it as a silent picture.

  95. since Babel, Brad Pitt has been legendary, one great film after another. I wonder if he will get two this year, for Tree of Life and Moneyball. Both would be earned

  96. since Babel, Brad Pitt has been legendary, one great film after another. I wonder if he will get two this year, for Tree of Life and Moneyball. Both would be earned

  97. “I’m not sure what Sasha means really by the “romanticism” thing.”

    I agree with her. Baseball has something to it. Most the game people are just standing around and waiting. In every other sport there is unending action from start to finish. Baseball is different, more zen

  98. “I’m not sure what Sasha means really by the “romanticism” thing.”

    I agree with her. Baseball has something to it. Most the game people are just standing around and waiting. In every other sport there is unending action from start to finish. Baseball is different, more zen

  99. great article, Sasha. I love your writing and can’t wait to see Moneyball. I don’t care much for Scott though :)

  100. great article, Sasha. I love your writing and can’t wait to see Moneyball. I don’t care much for Scott though :)

  101. What mitch, is it a crime to be a die-hard Harry Potter fan who’s upset that apparently no matter what people are still going to write it off as having no chance. I mean for fuck sakes, the reviews really could not have been much better. The crew gave it their all for the final installment and basically delivered the best anyone could have hoped for. Universal praise, not to mention 100 PERCENT FROM TOP CRITICS! That puts it in an elite class of what like only 3 other films in the last decade?

  102. What mitch, is it a crime to be a die-hard Harry Potter fan who’s upset that apparently no matter what people are still going to write it off as having no chance. I mean for fuck sakes, the reviews really could not have been much better. The crew gave it their all for the final installment and basically delivered the best anyone could have hoped for. Universal praise, not to mention 100 PERCENT FROM TOP CRITICS! That puts it in an elite class of what like only 3 other films in the last decade?

  103. but after finding out the Academy changed their fucking rules and it’s probably not going to be nominated after all I feel like my heart has been ripped out…

  104. but after finding out the Academy changed their fucking rules and it’s probably not going to be nominated after all I feel like my heart has been ripped out…

  105. Now if it’s my distaste for silent films you don’t care for, if it’s any consolation I was against b/w films as well…until I saw Casablanca and now for the past 2 years I haven’t been able to get enough of old b/w films. So maybe The Artist will turn my impression of silent films around, we’ll see. The story seems interesting enough, even though it’s more or less the same as Singin’ in the Rain with a role reversal.

  106. Now if it’s my distaste for silent films you don’t care for, if it’s any consolation I was against b/w films as well…until I saw Casablanca and now for the past 2 years I haven’t been able to get enough of old b/w films. So maybe The Artist will turn my impression of silent films around, we’ll see. The story seems interesting enough, even though it’s more or less the same as Singin’ in the Rain with a role reversal.

  107. julian the emperor

    h

    At this point, I wouldn’t be overtly surprised to see Pitt nominated for both movies (with Tree Of Life as supporting, obviously), but I still think a nomination for his lead turn in Moneyball could very well depend on its box office success. We’ll see. It would be cool beyond recognition if both Pitt and the late-career resurgent, Mister Plummer (for Barrytown and Beginners), could snag two nominations each!:) That would really make my day…

  108. julian the emperor

    h

    At this point, I wouldn’t be overtly surprised to see Pitt nominated for both movies (with Tree Of Life as supporting, obviously), but I still think a nomination for his lead turn in Moneyball could very well depend on its box office success. We’ll see. It would be cool beyond recognition if both Pitt and the late-career resurgent, Mister Plummer (for Barrytown and Beginners), could snag two nominations each!:) That would really make my day…

  109. Scott, we can respect that you are a die hard Harry Potter fan but there is a limit. This is a review for Moneyball! Let’s talk about Moneyball.

  110. Scott, we can respect that you are a die hard Harry Potter fan but there is a limit. This is a review for Moneyball! Let’s talk about Moneyball.

  111. My cousin, who I bond with over films & film history as well as SPORTS & BASEBALL, has been planning to come up to visit me for the past five months so we can watch Moneyball together this weekend. We love Sorkin, Pfister and the entire cast of the movie. Thanks, Sasha, for writing a piece that assures us we’ll have a wonderful time at the movies. Nothing like a great flick about the American Pastime — Oscar contender or not!

  112. My cousin, who I bond with over films & film history as well as SPORTS & BASEBALL, has been planning to come up to visit me for the past five months so we can watch Moneyball together this weekend. We love Sorkin, Pfister and the entire cast of the movie. Thanks, Sasha, for writing a piece that assures us we’ll have a wonderful time at the movies. Nothing like a great flick about the American Pastime — Oscar contender or not!

  113. Craig, as I noted I love baseball and I’d generally be all for talking about it…it’s just the lack of Potter discussion really irritates, especially when I see talk of other films not being Oscar movies but not being treated as unfairly. Again, hypocritical much?

  114. Craig, as I noted I love baseball and I’d generally be all for talking about it…it’s just the lack of Potter discussion really irritates, especially when I see talk of other films not being Oscar movies but not being treated as unfairly. Again, hypocritical much?

  115. These are all the baseball movies I can recall seeing off the top of my head…

    Bull Durham
    Field of Dreams
    Sugar
    It Happens Every Spring
    The Natural
    Major League
    Major League II
    Major League: Back to the Minors
    Hardball
    A League of their Own
    For Love of the Game
    The Rookie
    Eight Men Out
    Little Big League
    Angels in the Outfield
    Rookie of the Year
    Sandlot
    Bad News Bears
    Summer Catch
    Fever Pitch
    Mr. Baseball
    Pride of the Yankees
    61*

  116. These are all the baseball movies I can recall seeing off the top of my head…

    Bull Durham
    Field of Dreams
    Sugar
    It Happens Every Spring
    The Natural
    Major League
    Major League II
    Major League: Back to the Minors
    Hardball
    A League of their Own
    For Love of the Game
    The Rookie
    Eight Men Out
    Little Big League
    Angels in the Outfield
    Rookie of the Year
    Sandlot
    Bad News Bears
    Summer Catch
    Fever Pitch
    Mr. Baseball
    Pride of the Yankees
    61*

  117. The romanticism of baseball as a movie backdrop is probably due to the formality of the sport (baseball) that makes scandal, chaos, etc, stand out more dramatically than it does in movies with a backdrop of sports that are faster or rougher. Personal challenge (the Natural), hero implosion (Eight Men Out) or even past regrets (Field of Dreams) seem to resonate deeper than they would on a football field or hockey rink. The romaticism comes from “the smell of the grass” – it adds atmosphere because that’s what most of us remember as a clear, safe place as kids. And it does smell so much better in the outfield or from the stands than it does face down with two helmeted 300lb rhinos on your back (that’s a whole other genre!)

  118. The romanticism of baseball as a movie backdrop is probably due to the formality of the sport (baseball) that makes scandal, chaos, etc, stand out more dramatically than it does in movies with a backdrop of sports that are faster or rougher. Personal challenge (the Natural), hero implosion (Eight Men Out) or even past regrets (Field of Dreams) seem to resonate deeper than they would on a football field or hockey rink. The romaticism comes from “the smell of the grass” – it adds atmosphere because that’s what most of us remember as a clear, safe place as kids. And it does smell so much better in the outfield or from the stands than it does face down with two helmeted 300lb rhinos on your back (that’s a whole other genre!)

  119. LOL, yeah I used to be a little obsessed…lived and breathed it and played for close to 20 years if you count starting with teeball and such.

  120. LOL, yeah I used to be a little obsessed…lived and breathed it and played for close to 20 years if you count starting with teeball and such.

  121. Steve, you neglected to mention the most “romantic” one of them all- Bull Durham

    I just LOVE these EPIC quotes by the 2 main characters-

    Annie Savoy: I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring… which makes it like sex. There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I’d never sleep with a player hitting under .250… not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there’s a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I’ve got a ballplayer alone, I’ll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. ‘Course, a guy’ll listen to anything if he thinks it’s foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. ‘Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball – now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake? It’s a long season and you gotta trust it. I’ve tried ‘em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

    Crash Davis: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

  122. Steve, you neglected to mention the most “romantic” one of them all- Bull Durham

    I just LOVE these EPIC quotes by the 2 main characters-

    Annie Savoy: I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring… which makes it like sex. There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I’d never sleep with a player hitting under .250… not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there’s a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I’ve got a ballplayer alone, I’ll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. ‘Course, a guy’ll listen to anything if he thinks it’s foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. ‘Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball – now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake? It’s a long season and you gotta trust it. I’ve tried ‘em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

    Crash Davis: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

  123. Love it – great dialog. I don’t think you could have a monolog like that with as many tech references to another sport. Efficient, full of recognizable images and definitely character defining.

  124. Love it – great dialog. I don’t think you could have a monolog like that with as many tech references to another sport. Efficient, full of recognizable images and definitely character defining.

  125. sorry scott, I was just teasing. I just didnt like the way you were criticizing the site

  126. sorry scott, I was just teasing. I just didnt like the way you were criticizing the site

  127. Scott, why would this site be talking about Harry Potter right now while all these other Oscar contenders are coming out right now? We talked about Harry Potter plenty when it was released now it’s these other movies chance. You only whine about people not talking about HP because that is all you ever want to talk about.

  128. Scott, why would this site be talking about Harry Potter right now while all these other Oscar contenders are coming out right now? We talked about Harry Potter plenty when it was released now it’s these other movies chance. You only whine about people not talking about HP because that is all you ever want to talk about.

  129. No Craig, it’s mainly because it was removed from the contender tracker and I hate how you’ve all swept it under the rug so hastily.

  130. No Craig, it’s mainly because it was removed from the contender tracker and I hate how you’ve all swept it under the rug so hastily.

  131. So that has what to do with Sasha’s review of Moneyball? Start your own site and put it into your own contender tracker if it bugs you so much.

  132. So that has what to do with Sasha’s review of Moneyball? Start your own site and put it into your own contender tracker if it bugs you so much.

  133. Tomris Laffly

    Sasha, love your article on this (just saw MoneyBall yesterday night). Although it doesn’t have the ‘stuttering king no longer stuttering’ type ending, I think the American-ness of the story is something Academy will instantly romance with. They might even think of this movie as an antidote to last year’s British invasion. :) This is shaping up to be one hell of an awards season!

  134. Tomris Laffly

    Sasha, love your article on this (just saw MoneyBall yesterday night). Although it doesn’t have the ‘stuttering king no longer stuttering’ type ending, I think the American-ness of the story is something Academy will instantly romance with. They might even think of this movie as an antidote to last year’s British invasion. :) This is shaping up to be one hell of an awards season!

  135. Craig, I already explained this more then once but what it has to do with the discussion of Moneyball is how you all have noted that it’s NOT an “Oscar movie” but yet you don’t give it the same unfair treatment as other not Oscar movies such as Harry Potter…which oh by the way happens to be the best reviewed film of the year so far still.

  136. Craig, I already explained this more then once but what it has to do with the discussion of Moneyball is how you all have noted that it’s NOT an “Oscar movie” but yet you don’t give it the same unfair treatment as other not Oscar movies such as Harry Potter…which oh by the way happens to be the best reviewed film of the year so far still.

  137. This sight doesn’t need to talk about HP every time they say something remotely related to it.

  138. This sight doesn’t need to talk about HP every time they say something remotely related to it.

  139. Sasha, you’ve written a lot of great articles, but this one takes the cake. No joke, I almost shed a tear while reading this. I can’t quite articulate it but something in this article tugged at my heartstrings. It must be than I can relate to “How to compete when other’s have more resources or you’re not quite good enough to be a star on your own.” Maybe the best movies are the ones that make people feel like a part of something, a social connectedness.

    Can’t wait to see this film.

  140. Sasha, you’ve written a lot of great articles, but this one takes the cake. No joke, I almost shed a tear while reading this. I can’t quite articulate it but something in this article tugged at my heartstrings. It must be than I can relate to “How to compete when other’s have more resources or you’re not quite good enough to be a star on your own.” Maybe the best movies are the ones that make people feel like a part of something, a social connectedness.

    Can’t wait to see this film.

  141. @steve50

    couldn’t agree more…
    The “smell of the grass” is thickly associated with “big league chew”, “soda pop”, “a first kiss”, “standing at home plate”, ‘standing in the outfield”, and a million other wonderful childhood memories. My parents went through a divorce when I was playing baseball as a young boy and the baseball field was my escape. The memories I have of playing baseball as kid are literally priceless.

  142. @steve50

    couldn’t agree more…
    The “smell of the grass” is thickly associated with “big league chew”, “soda pop”, “a first kiss”, “standing at home plate”, ‘standing in the outfield”, and a million other wonderful childhood memories. My parents went through a divorce when I was playing baseball as a young boy and the baseball field was my escape. The memories I have of playing baseball as kid are literally priceless.

  143. Moneyball is magic and I’ll cheer for it next spring just as I do my hometown A’s every year. Loving baseball is shown equally in a microscopically smaller film that most baseball fans haven’t heard of called “Boys of Summer”. Not only an award-winning doc, but one that serves a great cause (Michael J Fox Foundation). You can see it for free online at: http://www.bosmovie.com.

  144. Moneyball is magic and I’ll cheer for it next spring just as I do my hometown A’s every year. Loving baseball is shown equally in a microscopically smaller film that most baseball fans haven’t heard of called “Boys of Summer”. Not only an award-winning doc, but one that serves a great cause (Michael J Fox Foundation). You can see it for free online at: http://www.bosmovie.com.

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