Wally Pfister

MONEYBALL: Can sports neophytes like this film?

MONEYBALL: Can sports neophytes like this film?

Are you about to saunter leisurely into this Bennett Miller blockbuster, as thousands of Americans have done already? Should you have even an ounce of baseball knowledge before seeing a film about baseball strategy? Well, maybe. It ain’t ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (Oliver Stone, 1999), a family drama that requires only the most basic understanding of football. MONEYBALL is slightly different. Watching Brad Pitt act his heart out as Billy Beane, the manager of the Oakland A’s, is much more satisfying if you understand how and why players are traded and the ingrained culture that preceded Beane and his Assistant GM’s innovative method for evaluating undervalued players. But are there other factors at work to keep you engaged just in case you’re a baseball-ignorant heathen? Yes…