“I saw Moneyball,” a friend said, “and it’s rather amazing, especially on a thematic and/or screenwriting level. But the last thing it is is a power Oscar play. I expect Brad Pitt could find some flow this season, and maybe it’ll figure in the adapted screenplay category (given the names), though it’s not the kind of script that resonates in the season. (I don’t make the rules.) But that’s it. I don’t see 300 people putting this in their #1 spot for Best Picture.”
No, I responded. No, no, no, no…wrong. It is a kind of Oscar play…a quiet, forceful one that’s something to be proud of. “Smart layered movies have to be given their due,” I replied. “The Academy can’t be allowed to dumb down the Best Picture race again…not after last year’s King’s Speech win. That embarassment has to be forgotten, erased, paved over. Please don’t wink at or tacitly approve the default preferences of the dumb-downers…don’t play along with them by predicting their dumb-down votes. Don’t go all War Horse on me, please.
“Moneyball is a kind of heaven. Don’t hang back with the brutes.”