Brad Pitt received his third Oscar nomination for portraying Billy Beane in Moneyball.
Brad Pitt portrays Billy Beane the general manager who use to be a baseball player himself who never reached what many seemed to be his potential. Pitt portrays his the part in a fairly standard approach. He does not seek to make Billy Beane any sort of genius, or incredible man, just pretty much a normal guy trying to make his under financed team compete with the rich teams. Pitt's performance really for the most part is a standard leading man performance, he never really tries for anything more than that, which is technically fine since Billy Beane is not suppose to be anyone overly special.
Pitt though does have a sort of commanding presence in the film as Beane who wants to bring his team up using completely unorthodox methods. Pitt does have just the right dynamic between domination and relaxation actually, since after all Beane is doing these business maneuvers in baseball not something bigger. Pitt always displays a certain seriousness in Beane, in that he does take his business seriously enough, but he never goes that far with showing that Beane also is indeed aware of what kind of business he is in which makes him naturally a more relaxed fellow.
Pitt finds the right sort of determination, and passion within the part to be convincing as Billy Beane. He does not present his new ideas as something that is because he is some sort courageous visionary, but in many ways as just a man desperate for a new way or answer. Pitt creates just the right amount of desperation within Beane's whole sage. It not a self pitying desperation though Pitt portrays rather as something that is actually a motivating factor for Beane rather than a restrictive aspect of him.
Pitt is quite good and charismatic in the role. I do wish though that there was perhaps a little more time granted to Pitt actually reflection on Beane past. There are a few moments and Pitt is fine in showing some degree of regret, but these scenes a very very short, and never long enough or fully written enough for Pitt to turn them into anything especially amazing. Which is a shame since I do think Pitt shows promise in his short moments, but there is just not enough there.
I won't say this is a perfect performance by Pitt simply because there are a couple of scenes where his line readings have a little bit of a rehearsed quality to them, nor will I say this is the most complex performance Pitt has ever given, but I will say this is a good performance. It is a solid leading man turn from Pitt that realizes most of the potential of a part, giving a charming and entertaining performance, which allows the audience easily to follow Beane through his exploits.