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'Moneyball' faces long Oscar odds

5. MONEYBALL An unsentimental, cliche-free drama about major-league

5. MONEYBALL

An unsentimental, cliche-free drama about major-league baseball, with fine performances from Brad Pitt and -- surprise! --Jonah Hill as number crunchers dismantling the game they love. It's a pro-sports, but anti-sports movie.

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Credit: MCT/

“Moneyball’’ is an extreme longshot to join “Rocky,” “Chariots of Fire’’ and “Million Dollar Baby’’ as the only sports films to win a Best Picture Oscar. It also would be the first baseball film so honored.

But hey, it’s nice to be nominated, especially because only two previous baseball movies have been: “The Pride of the Yankees’’ and “Field of Dreams.’’

(It’s even better to be No. 2 all-time among baseball movies in domestic box office – not inflation adjusted – with $75.6 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, second only to “A League of Their Own’’ at $107.5 million.)

Speaking of which, what baseball movie has garnered the most nominations?

“Moneyball” has six, including for actors Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. That ranks second all-time to “The Pride of the Yankees,’’ which got 11 in 1942 but won only an editing award.
The 11 nominations for Lou Gehrig’s life story are equal to the combined total for every baseball movie ever made before “Moneyball.’’

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