I’m a giant fan of Aaron Sorkin as a screenwriter. I loved The Social Network, who knew a film about Facebook of all things could be so well written. I also loved his work on Steve Jobs, the sharp writing and focusing on three key points in Jobs’ life just made for such an entertaining watch. I don’t know anything about poker, but just seeing a combination of Sorkin and Jessica Chastain (who I adore) was enough to get me hyped for this.
The film is based on the life of Molly Bloom, a former skier who finds herself getting an in with Hollywood celebrities, famous athletes and other high rollers in games of high stakes poker. After spending years of learning the game she branches out and begins hosting and soon the games start involving the mob and law enforcement gets involved and she is eventually arrested. The film is primarily told from Molly’s perspective and also stars Idris Elba as Molly’s attorney.
Jessica Chastain is one of my favorite actresses. She’s absolutely gorgeous and is so talented. I always feel like she comes close to winning an Academy Award but doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle. She’s unsurprisingly superb in Molly’s Game, it might be her very best. She nails a completely character driven performance. The running length is long (clocking in at 140 minutes) but for me time kind of flew by because I was so into Molly’s world. The film brings style and enough substance for me to really take a caring for Molly and what happened in her life.
This film is not about a character finding love, no none of that crap here. We have a well written biography of a person who got entangled with the wrong group and you want to see her find her way out. Sorkin’s directional debut works so well for me. The world of poker becomes accessible for know nothings like me because Sorkin breaks down everything so well, while showing us the glitz and fast pace of the gaming world. I’m happy with Sorkin’s finished product. It’ll be a tough year for her as always but I’d love for Chastain to win the big awards for this.