Brad Pitt, Others Praised For Portrayals Of A's Personnel In "Moneyball"
Critics and writers offered their opinions on the "Moneyball" cast, and the AP's Christy Lemire wrote Brad Pitt is at his "charismatic best" portraying A's GM Billy Beane in the movie. Pitt is a "little weary, a little weathered, but that complexity only makes him more appealing” (AP, 9/20). CBS’ David Edelstein said Pitt “is shockingly good,” adding he “doesn’t play against his movie star handsomeness.” Edelstein: “His Billy Beane is a man who knows he’s handsome and also knows it's not enough. It’s the first time Pitt has been more than enough” (“Sunday Morning,” CBS, 9/18). The WASHINGTON POST’s Ann Hornaday writes Pitt “exudes a careless, almost slovenly lack of vanity.” It is a “tribute to his nuanced physical performance that Brad Pitt can make audiences believe a woman would ever leave a guy who looks like Brad Pitt” (WASHINGTON POST, 9/23). The SAN JOSE MECURY NEWS’ Daniel Brown wrote Pitt “captures Beane’s blend of arrogance and charm, as well as his swings from fiery to pensive” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/20). The N.Y. TIMES’ Manohla Dargis writes Pitt gives “the quintessential Brad Pitt performance” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/23). Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman wrote Pitt is in “classic, game-on movie-star mode.” Jonah Hill as Peter Brand, a character based on former A's Assistant GM Paul DePodesta, “brings his whole deadpan-geek thing to a new height of pinpoint timing.” Philip Seymour Hoffman, as A’s manager Art Howe, “does a character turn that’s as fresh for him as the crew cut that makes him look like a grizzled old-timer” (EW.com, 9/21). SI’s Austin Murphy writes Hill’s "depiction of Brand, the savant Yalie, is a masterpiece of understatement” (SI, 9/26 issue).
SUPPORTING CAST: CNBC’s Darren Rovell wrote while Pitt and Hill “work nicely together,” Hoffman’s portrayal of Howe “will disturb traditionalists.” Rovell: “As long as they bothered naming him the same name as the A’s manager, Hoffman should at least have tried to be more like Howe or maybe it was just the script who turned the more reserved real life Howe into a stubborn character” (CNBC.com 9/21). The OAKLAND TRIBUNE’s Joe Stiglich called Hoffman’s performance an “eyebrow-raiser,” and wrote, “I can't imagine that Howe was quite as confrontational and aggressive with Beane as he’s made out to be” (IBABUZZ.com 9/19) But sports writer Joe Posnanski wrote, “Hoffman is so good that part of me wished the movie was actually about Art Howe” (JOEPOSNANSKI.com, 9/21). CSNBAYAREA’s Casey Pratt wrote actor Chris Pratt plays former A’s 1B Scott Hatteberg “so well you can hardly tell them apart,” adding the “runner up would be” Hoffman as Howe. Casey Pratt: “I never thought that choice would work, but from the first Howe scene on, you never question the Academy Award-winner as the manager” (CSNBAYAREA.com, 9/21). MLB.com’s Jane Lee wrote Hill’s “presence was largely overshadowed by that of his mega co-star, but words weren’t necessarily needed, as his genuine excitement for the film and what it stands for was largely apparent.” Lee: “The same could be said of Chris Pratt, who entertains the crowd as Hatteberg” (MLB.com, 9/20). The FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM’s Jeff Wilson wrote Rangers manager Ron Washington, who was the A’s 3B coach in ’02, left Monday’s premiere of the movie “with a flood of memories and a favorable review of the movie … and the actor who portrayed him.” Washington said, “The few lines I had, I thought the guy handled them well. He was very decisive in his answers, which is what I am” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 9/20).