"If there was one word to describe Moneyball, it would be human."
Sport movies are an interesting breed; especially ones about the media enshrined highs that are the main American pastimes. They tend to profit of the raw excitement associated with decades of worldwide idolization and record setting in the sport rather than anything to do with the film. Sandra Bullock helping a homeless kid? Boring. He plays American Football? Sweet. What I'm trying to convolutedly reach here is that Moneyball stands on it's own legs. It doesn't lean on the cult of baseball to succeed, yet it is deeply entwined with the greatness of the sport and its history.
If there was one word to describe Moneyball, it would be human. Every character interaction is grounded and approachable. The scenes between Brad Pitt's character and the Athletic's disgruntled coach are particularly touching. The pain they experience following what they believe is the right path is tangible and quite heartbreaking. Pitt's broken family is also dynamic and completely believable, leading to some of the most wonderfully awkward moments I've seen on screen recently.
We all know Brad Pitt can act, that's something no longer in question. So we expect him to headline well, and he does. But the shinning stars of the film, in my eyes, were Jonah Hill (And not at all surprisingly he's been Oscar nominated for it) and the quite wonderful Kerris Dorsey who plays Pitt's daughter. She remains an effective, if slightly exploited, emotional anchor throughout the film.
I also quite enjoyed the slightly anachronistic feel the film had. It actually took me longer than I'd like to admit to realize exactly when it was set. This gives the whole movie a slightly timeless air, which suits it and its message well.