What it’s up for: Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role (Brad Pitt), Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill), Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay
This was a really great movie. That being said, I acknowledge the fact that there are a lot of inaccuracies between the movie/book and what happened in real life. Great. That’s done with. This was a REALLY great movie.
The story follows the Oakland A’s general manager, Billy Beane, during the 2002 season. He and his assistant GM (Jonah Hill) come up with a (relatively) new system to put together a team, so that they can replace some key players on a limited budget. The resulting plot that unfolds is dramatic and entertaining as Beane is given a lot of strife over his decisions and the A’s go through some ups and downs.
Since 2002 was the season after my beloved Mariners’ 116 win season, I’m pretty sure my 14-year-old self wasn’t paying close attention to what was happening with the A’s. So, everything that happened in the movie was new and surprising for me. That’s the best way to watch it I think – if you don’t know what’s going to happen. The ending of the movie is the most well-done ending to a movie that I’ve seen in a while. (The one drawback, though, is that it hinges on a song that was released in 2008…even though it’s supposed to be 2002. IGNORE THAT and just enjoy the show.)
Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill had great chemistry together. They worked off each other and balanced out each other’s characters really well. I think they both did a great job. Jonah Hill’s nomination surprises me, though. After looking at the list of his fellow nominees, I think I know why he was nominated. (I haven’t seen the other movies yet but I have a sneaking suspicion that there wasn’t a lot to choose from in this category this year.) His character was very endearing though.
I forgot to look at the list of nominations for this film before I watched it but I’m glad that happened. I started guessing which categories it was nominated for while watching the movie and I guessed sound mixing almost right away. The use of sound in this movie is FANTASTIC. (I use that word a lot, I know, but really…it was.) The blending of the sound effects with dialogue and background noise was perfect. It also helped emphasize certain scenes or actions throughout the movie.
According to the internets, all the critics of the film (the die-hard baseball fans that hate the inaccuracies) claim that all the issues are issues from the book that got transferred to the film. That suggests to me that the screenplay was adapted pretty accurately from the book. More so, the screenplay did not feel like a book – it felt like a movie. (Hugo felt like a book.) It was creatively shot to emphasize the baseball aspects of the film. There were a couple of spots where the dialogue was jumpy but it was made up for in other parts of the film when the dialogue was awesome. (This was mostly when Brad and Jonah were interacting. They played off each other well in their conversations.) Along with the screenplay the film editing was done really well. They had to go back and forth between real footage and footage from the film a lot. The transitions between scenes were awesome. (Transitions tend to make or break a film for me.) The biggest weakness is that besides the important song that makes the ending awesome, there are also a couple other chronological inaccuracies which can be distracting if you notice them.
On a side note, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE SCORE OF THIS FILM. I thought for sure it had been nominated but noooooo. It’s the most memorable of the scores I’ve heard so far this year. I want to download it just to put it on my iPod and listen to it while I’m driving. It’s hopeful yet poignant. It’s dramatic and beautiful. Also, the attention to detail in the set-up of each scene is very well done. There are a lot of little things in the background that help support what’s going on in each scene. My favorite was a quick shot of the (former) Bon Marche Christmas star on King5 on a tv in a house of a player in Seattle.
Best Picture: Possible. Possibly made more possible by the fact that Brad Pitt is in it and produced it. Less possible because of the multiple anachronisms throughout the movie.
Leading actor: Possible but I doubt it. I still think Gary Oldman’s got it.
Supporting actor: Probable.
Film editing: Unlikely. It totally deserves the nomination though.
Sound mixing: Highly likely.
Adapted screenplay: Possible. This is a STRONG category, though.