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Based on a true story

Statistics and their alleged true meaning are at the heart of this film, adapted from Michael Lewis’s 2003 nonfiction book, but it’s also one of the most soulful of baseball movies—it confronts the anguish of a very tough game. In 2002, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), a failed ballplayer who has become the general manager of the impoverished Oakland A’s, hires as his assistant a pudgy Yale graduate, Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a non-athlete but a disciple of the statistical guru Bill James, who, along with other practitioners of Sabermetrics, has invented new ways of analyzing the value of ballplayers; Peter, burrowing into his computer, comes up with a bunch of seemingly unlikely prospects that Beane can actually afford. A confident revolutionary who’s nevertheless in torment much of the time, Beane imposes his new way of thinking on the entire team, including the baffled manager, Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose silent, gut-heavy performance is a comic classic). The director, Bennett Miller, takes us through the 2002 season by way of actual footage of the A’s and staged baseball games (which look unusually good). The picture has drive and humor, but there’s an inescapable oddity at its center; Beane and Brand are possessed by a passion that’s almost religious in its strength, but it’s a religion devoted not to spirit or character but to hard, cold numbers. Written by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Courtesy David Denby, The New Yorker Official Trailer
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Directed by: 
Bennett Miller
Running Time: 
Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright
Screenplay by: 
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin

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