Molly’s Game (2017)
Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Based on the book Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker by Molly Bloom
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera
Molly Bloom (Chastain) ran one of the most exclusive poker games in the world, and now she’s a target of the FBI.
This film is the directorial debut of veteran screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs). Sorkin also wrote the screenplay, basing the story on Molly Bloom’s memoir, Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker. The cast of the movie includes Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves), and Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World).
This is a fascinating story of a woman who went from being an Olympic contender to a defendant in a federal money laundering trial. Aaron Sorkin does a great job getting right into the story. The pace is quick and the film jumps from the present to moments in the past with ease. The movie also finds great moments to focus on and great characters to highlight. The writing also features the quick and smart dialogue Sorkin has become known for. There is a lack of explanation that sometimes leaves things feeling a bit too vague, but this isn’t a major flaw in the film. The story is also a bit predictable, but good writing keeps it interesting and fun. The end result is a movie that tells a fascinating story that has comedy, tragedy, and drama all built in.
This cast really did great work with Sorkin’s script. Jessica Chastain does a great job bringing a fascinating person to life on the big screen. She has a natural intensity that really played into this role. She also connected well with the rest of the cast. Idris Elba also does great work in this one. His role really balances out the story and he seemed to understand the transition of his character throughout the film. Kevin Costner and Michael Cera also give strong performances in this one. Their roles both play a major part in the development of the story and Chastain’s character. Thanks to a large cast of talented actors this one doesn’t seem to have any weak moments.
This movie looks good and creates a unique world through nicely chosen costuming, sets, and locations. The camera doesn’t do anything exciting or unexpected, but always seems to be in the right place. The film was also edited well, keeping the pace moving nicely throughout the story. The music, composed by Daniel Pemberton (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), also adds a nice layer to the movie. This is a solid movie that won’t surprise you too often, but still tells a great story.
If you’re a fan of Aaron Sorkin or any of the stars, this is one you should see. I would also suggest this to fans of biographical films. I give this one 4.4 out of 5 stars.