CS Video: Moneyball Director Bennett Miller

CS Video: Moneyball Director Bennett Miller
Release Date: September 23, 2011
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Bennett Miller
Screenwriter: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Stephen Bishop, Kathyrn Morris, Chris Pratt
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some strong language)
Official Website: Moneyball-movie.com
Review: 8/10 rating

Plot Summary: Based on a true story, "Moneyball" is a movie for anybody who has ever dreamed of taking on the system. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: all of baseball's conventional wisdom is wrong. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. It's more than baseball, it's a revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he's tearing out the heart and soul of the game.
Some may remember director Bennett Miller from when he got nominated for an Oscar for directing his first dramatic feature Capote, a movie which brought Philip Seymour Hoffman his first Oscar. Others may have noticed he's been noticeably absent from movie screens since then and wonder where he'd been.

There's a good chance Miller was just waiting for the right project and apparently, he found it with Moneyball, an adaptation of Michael Lewis' best-selling book about Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane--here played by an actor some may know by the name of Brad Pitt--and his attempt to use Sabermetrics to create the perfect team. Helping him in this venture is Yale graduate Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, who uses stats to find undervalued players to boost the team's on-base percentage.

Miller returned to the Toronto International Film Festival for the first time since Capote and ComingSoon.net had a chance to do an extended on-camera interview with the filmmaker, since we figured he would offer the most insight on what it took to bring Michael Lewis' book to the screen.

We talked to Bennett about:

* What he's been doing since "Capote"
* What kind of shape the script was in when he came on board
* Whether he spent any time talking to the book's author Michael Lewis and whether he's seen the movie
* What the biggest challenge was of making the movie
* Whether he and Brad spent a lot of time with Billy
* Did he approach Billy in a similar way as he did Truman Capote

And lots, lots more!

Moneyball opens across the country on Friday, September 23. Look for our interviews with Jonah Hill and Chris Pratt later this week.

CS Video: Moneyball Director Bennett Miller

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