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“Moneyball” shut out at the Oscars

Feb 27, 2012, 8:22 AM EDT

brad pitt moneyball getty Getty Images

As Billy Beane himself once said: “my sh** doesn’t work in the playoffs.” At least I think he said that. Or someone said it about him and attributed it to him.  Point being: sabermetrics circa 2002 had a reputation for producing good regular season results and not working when the small sample size postseason came around.

Happened again last night. Despite six nominations, it came home from last night’s Oscar’s telecast with zero awards. Poor Brad Pitt had to go home empty-handed, with nothing to keep him warm except Angelina Jolie, his amazingly handsome looks and piles upon piles of money. Must be hard to be him.

Can’t say it’s a snub. I never bought anything about “Moneyball” as Oscar bait.  Good movie. Not great. Other than a subject matter that is geared toward people like me, there wasn’t really anything about that put it over the top. And besides, I stopped getting worked up over Oscar snubs when “Forrest Gump” beat “Pulp Fiction” back in the day, so this isn’t going to come even close to animating me.

Oscar thread, people. All yours.

  1. phukyouk - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    I watched pulp fiction last night for what has to be the 500th time.

    • whatthehellisansky - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      “Pretty please – with a cherry on top – clean the f*ckin car”

      • phukyouk - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        yup… the bonnie situation and everything following it is my favorite part of the movie.

  2. Old Gator - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    I love it when French films run away with all the glitter. Drives the right wingers up the wall.

    • hasbeen5 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      I don’t think many right wingers watch the Oscars. Probably because of all the French films. I say this as a right winger that proudly does not watch the Oscars.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM

        Leave Old Gator alone.

      • hasbeen5 - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        Although I don’t agree with OG’s political leanings, I have no beef with him. To each his own, I just don’t really do awards shows in general. I like the movies and music that I like, don’t really care if some movie judge thinks I should watch a silent film instead.

      • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        hasbeen: neither do I, actually. Nothing to do with politics – the Oscar show is boring, is all. And I find the cacaphony of snooty fashion commentary that follows the show about as immaterial to anything important as it could possibly get.

    • mrwillie - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      I imagine I would be considered a bit to the right, and my wife happens to be French.

      I bet that drives people who bring politics into baseball up the wall.

      • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        I wouldn’t know. I haven’t discussed it with Curt Schilling yet.

    • 1historian - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      FYI – I am a right winger and proud of it. The best film last year was ‘Hugo’. It took place in a Paris train station in the 1930s. It featured the music of Django Reinhart – ever hear of him?

      As a right winger I speak french fluently, I can walk and spit at the same time, I can read and write, and I conclude with this memorable quote about the academy awards made about 20 years ago by someone whose name I forget:

      “The academy awards are hollywood’s annual salute to itself.”

  3. ditto65 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    What are the “Oscars”?

    • florida727 - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      It’s a hot dog. I suggest mustard and onions with a little celery salt, but that’s just my preference. On a whole wheat bun isn’t a bad choice either.

      • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        It’s an aquarium fish that gets really big and bites your finger when you try to adjust the filter stem.

  4. Chris K - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Maybe it is because I read and loved the book, but I didn’t like the movie. Really ran slow and boring, the father daughter relationship scenes just felt awkward and forced, and I felt none of three story lines were focused on long enough to do any proper developing.

    • blueintown - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      Bingo. For a movie about sabermetrics, it spent very little time dealing with sabermetrics.

      • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        That’s nothing. The Tree of Life had nothing whatsoever to do with trees. I was bummed.

  5. florida76 - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    They recently expanded the Oscar field, which greatly helped films like Moneyball. Decent low budget movie with good acting and a different plot. However, any non fiction sports movie must have a rousing climax, and that’s where Moneyball was tagged out at second.

    I’m not a Rays fan, but you could have used elements of the different approach with the significant achievement of the 2008 Rays, and had a better movie.

    • skeleteeth - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      I never read the book but thought they would spend more time on the streak than they did, as that was the only tangible accomplishment that would seemingly translate on the screen to non-baseball-fan movie-goer. Funny they mention the Red Sox WS victory in 2004 while emulating Beane’s approach but not the fact that the A’s were up 2-0 in 2003 only to lose 3 straight and in an elimination game AGAIN. Is that in the book?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      @florida76

      I’m not a Rays fan, but you could have used elements of the different approach with the significant achievement of the 2008 Rays, and had a better movie.

      If you are into good baseball books, Jonah Keri’s The Extra 2%* book on the Rays is a great read. Talks about the takeover by the Steinberg group and how they changed the culture of the Rays allowing them to make it to the WS in ’08.

      @skeleteeth:

      I never read the book but thought they would spend more time on the streak than they did, as that was the only tangible accomplishment that would seemingly translate on the screen to non-baseball-fan movie-goer

      You guys should read the book. It’s a quick read and not as much about sabrmetrics as people would have you believe. It’s mostly about the difference in scouting between Beane’s way and the old way, and why Beane choose to go a different route**.

      As for the streak, it’s not a big ordeal in the book as Lewis focuses more on the players involved. Similar to Olney’s Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, Lewis has a chapter on relief pitcher Chad Bradford, his background, how he joins the As, and ends with his role in the last game. Then goes to Scott Hatteberg, how he joins the As, and his chapter ends with his role in the streak (walk off HR in extra innings).

      As for it being the only tangible accomplishment, in ’00 they lost in G5 of the ALDS, in ’01 G5 of the ALDS, in ’02 G5 of the ALDS, and in ’03 G5 of the ALDS. Four straight years losing in the last game of the ALDS isn’t exactly not having a tangible accomplishment, unless you are a fan of the Yankee-style “it’s a WS victory or nothing”.

      *http://www.amazon.com/Extra-2%25-Street-Strategies-Baseball/dp/0345517652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330356170&sr=8-1

      **Beane was a possible #1 pick over Strawberry, but bottomed out in MLB so he wanted players who could play, not those who “looked like they could play. Favorite quote: we’re not trying to sell blue jeans here

  6. nategearhart - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Aw Craig, you missed out on the headline. Shouldn’t Moneyball have STRUCK out at the Oscars?

  7. cubsrice - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    The Shawshank Redemption should have blown both Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump out of the water. Haters gonna hate…

    • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      You’re just bitter because the tree got hit by lightning.

  8. westwind1958 - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Not a bad movie but very slow and certainly not really even a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. There were lots of outstanding performances … this jut wasn’t over the top — no stretching of personal skill involved here.

  9. h2otown66 - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    I don’t understand why people still say that Forrest Gump beat out Pulp Fiction for the Oscar. No, it beat out The Shawshank Redemption for the Oscar, which was by far the best movie that came out in 1994.

    • lessick - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      I’d say (as would both Siskel and Ebert) that Hoop Dreams was better than all three that year.

      • jwbiii - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Hoop Dreams was robbed. Not even nominated as a feature documentary.

      • h2otown66 - Feb 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        I wasn’t even thinking about documentaries, but you may be right.

    • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      Shawshank??? A nice, kitschy little film, full of cliches to gratify its lowbrow bourgeois cult following and a couple of nice performances into the mix. Oh, and a tree, RIP.

  10. scatterbrian - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Moneyball was a really good film, it just wasn’t great. But considering all of the turmoil the led up to the movie finally getting made, those involved–especially Brad Pitt–should be proud of the nominations it got. It seems the only award Moneyball had a real shot at was Adapted Screenplay; Best Picture was in the bag for The Artist, George Clooney was the only actor who could have concievably beaten Jean Dujardin, and Jonah Hill really had zero chance against those four stalwarts.

    It was another weak crop of movies this year, and I have a feeling we’ll eventually look back and realize Hugo was snubbed.

  11. 1historian - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    There are 2 BIG reasons why I didn’t watch the oscars this year.

    1) they are BORING and I haven’t watched in about 20 years – didn’t want to break the streak

    2) the tv is on the fritz.

    gotta walk the dog and then go beddy-bye

    nighty-night

    afn&tt

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