Molly's Game (2017)
“Molly’s Game” star Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, and Bill Camp. Released on December 25, 2017, the film is about a young woman who is targeted by the FBI for being involved in an underground poker empire.
The film features the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, who wrote screenplays for films such as A Few Good Men, The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs. It is based on the memoir of the same name by Molly Bloom. Aaron Sorkin has been known for writing stories that captivated a ton of critics, but now he’s taking on the task of directing the story that he wrote himself. After experiencing the beautiful majesty that is The Shape of Water, I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on another movie before New Year’s Eve falls upon us. I would’ve watched it sooner, but my mother wanted me to take her to see it because she loves some of the actors that are in the film, especially Idris Elba. I wasn’t familiar with the events involving Molly Bloom before I saw the marketing for it, but based on what I read about her, she seems to be very attractive to the law. Now her story about her recent arrest is being told on the big screen, but is it worth telling? Well, in terms of the direction they were going for, I would have to say “yes”.
The cast delivered some invigorating performances from start to finish, especially Jessica Chastain. With her energetic charm and her sense of personality, Chastain was able to shine bright as the female host of a high-stakes poker game while also delivering some enticing dialogue to boot. Idris Elba also turned in a solid performance as Molly’s lawyer who attempts to help her win her case. Kevin Costner was really good as Molly’s father and Michael Cera was an unexpected surprise as one of the poker players. One of the things that made the film interesting for me was how they told the story. Most biopics tend to move at a pretty slow pace, but the narrative in this movie moves at a more steady pace while also providing plenty of information that doesn’t feel too much or too little. With the running time of around 2 hours and 20 minutes, I can definitely feel its length by the time the third act comes into play, but there wasn’t a single scene that felt unnecessary or dragged out. Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay has a lot of impressive moments including Chastain’s highly entertaining narration and some smartly-written dialogue between the characters, most notably Bloom and her lawyer. As for his direction, I would clearly say that he did a really nice job at bringing this story to life as well as making the characters absorbing.
Overall, Aaron Sorkin has successfully played the right cards in terms of his direction and his screenplay. “Molly’s Game” is an enticing and well-written observation of the Poker Princess herself. Jessica Chastain’s riveting performance as Bloom may provide some sort of challenge for the other nominees at this year’s Golden Globes, especially Sally Hawkins from The Shape of Water. If she’s lucky, she might be able to pull off an upset. If you’re a fan of the actors that are in this film, it’s definitely worth checking out.
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