Movie Review: “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill

"Moneyball," starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill

I accompanied writer Evan Crean to a Sept. 7 press screening of “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. Moneyball: the Art of Winning an Unfair Game is one of my favorite sports books, and I was eager to see how a book that mixes the history of sabermetrics – baseball’s statistics-based evaluation method – with a year-in-the-life look at Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and the 2002 season would translate on the screen.

The answer: not all that well.

Why is an Aaron Sorkin-helmed Film so Slow?

“Moneyball” moves incredibly slowly, crawling through dialogue scenes. That’s especially infuriating considering the script was written by Aaron Sorkin, writer of “SportsNight,” “The West Wing,” “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “The Social Network,” among others. Sorkin’s dialogue works best when it’s quick-paced and self-referential to the point of almost being cyclical:

For some reason, every dialogue scene in “Moneyball” begins and ends with extended periods of people staring at each other. They don’t talk. They don’t communicate non-verbally. They rarely emote in any way. They just look at each other. Cutting these moments would have taken 15 minutes off a 133-minute film.

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