Unfortunately my invitation got lost in the mail somewhere, surely, so I wasn’t in attendance for the movie premiere of “Moneyball” in Oakland tonight. Therefore, I couldn’t really recap it any better than the San Francisco Chronicle. Here’s some highlights…
Brad Pitt, Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin were among those on the red carpet at the Paramount Theater in Oakland on Monday evening as “Moneyball,” the movie based on A’s general manager Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland team, made its national premiere.
“It’s very cool,” Pitt said as he paused on the carpet to speak to two Bay Area papers. “We’ve been gearing up for this viewing for a long time. This is a special screening for us.
“The people of Oakland gave such a great response. They stayed up with us for hours on end to tape the baseball scenes and never lost energy. We see a lot of fans from the ’02 season. It’s just special.”
Having played Beane in a movie, Pitt disclosed that he now follows Oakland, and he said, “I feel a bit romantic about the A’s.”
Another of the major actors, Chris Pratt, has a less than storied baseball background. Pratt, who plays first baseman Scott Hatteberg, said he has not hit a home run at any level, including T-ball, and in the movie, Pratt, a right-handed hitter, must bat lefty. Through the magic of cinema, his homer gives the A’s their record 20th consecutive victory.
Pratt nails Hatteberg’s preparations at the plate, and he accurately captures Hatteberg’s joyous trip around the bases on the game-winning homer.
“None of it was spontaneous,” Pratt said. “That was the one physicality that I really spent a ton of time trying to mimic exactly.”
High-powered baseball agent Scott Boras walked the red carpet, and though he’s called a bad name in “Moneyball,” he described the movie as “great for baseball.”
*Other observations from the Moneyball premiere: Jonah Hill is HELLA skinny. Philip Seymour Hoffman looks like Sandy Lyle again.