In 2001, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) tries to overcome his team’s financial limits by devising a new strategy for creating a competitive team, together with a young economics graduate (Jonah Hill) who has radical ideas. A compelling drama about how math changed baseball from the director who once made a movie about how Truman Capote changed the true crime genre. A bit on the dry side at times, this looks more like an HBO movie than a feature film, but the writers have done their best to reflect the passion of not only the game, but the game behind it. Amusing dialogue between Pitt and Hill, who are both terrific.

2011-U.S. 133 min. Color. Produced by Brad Pitt, Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz. Directed by Bennett Miller. Screenplay: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin. Book: Michael Lewis. Cast: Brad Pitt (Billy Beane), Jonah Hill (Peter Brand), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Art Howe), Robin Wright, Chris Pratt, Stephen Bishop.

Trivia: Steven Soderbergh was allegedly considered for directing duties.

Last word: “Those guys had to make it work. At the end of the day, Brad [Pitt] and Jonah [Hill] had to get in front of the camera and make the thing work. It was all essential to organize the film in such a way that we never lost touch with what the deeper meaning of what those phone calls were, which do not have so much to do with math and statistics as it does with a guy that’s engaged in a real dynamic personal struggle to prove something to himself, and that we understand the stakes and risks of what he’s doing. Also, I think it’s a testament to Brad and Jonah’s performances that they were able to carry that.” (Miller, Film School Rejects)


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