With just four films to his name, Bennett Miller has already become one of the most respected directors working today. Yet suprisingly all of his films have been based, in part, on true stories. Miller tackles these stories because while they seem fixated on one character, the overall picture adds up to something much larger. The film that exemplifies this trait most is his 2011 picture, Moneyball. The Brad Pitt vehicle appears to be another underdog baseball story on the surface, but when viewers dig a little, the real thesis comes in focus.
Miller’s protagonists are plagued by inadequacy regarding their station in life and Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) is no different. Beane has his own failures to contend with as his Athletics are ousted from the playoffs one more time by the New York Yankees. The American dream dangles riches and fame over our heads, inviting us to advance to that next level, but Beane can’t win playing the cash game the Yankees and Red Sox play. If Beane wants to prove his inability to move on isn’t with himself, he’ll have to up-end the way evaluates talent. And perhaps discover why his own playing career went so wrong.