“Her Own Form of Gambling”
A Review of "Molly’s Game” by Nathan H. Box
Director: Aaron Sorkin, Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Molly Bloom, Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME
The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.
You know Aaron Sorkin from the small screen. Specifically, you know Aaron Sorkin from “The West Wing” and “The Newsroom.” He possesses a very specific writing style focused on speed, wit, and intelligence. For his big screen directorial debut, his formula doesn’t change all that much. What does change is the size of the sandbox he finds himself.
“Molly’s Game” is the story of Molly Bloom; a measured, self-assured, numbers fanatic with an entrepreneurial spirit who went from the slopes of Olympic qualifying runs to hosting an exclusive high-stakes poker game. This story of odds, competition, and losing is the first toy in Sorkin’s sandbox.
His second set of toys come in the form of Jessica Chastain playing Molly Bloom and Idris Elba as her attorney in the United States’ court case against her. Without a doubt, you would be hard-pressed to find two actors more on top of their game right now than these two. Given the source material and Sorkin’s writing style, they absolutely shine in this film with an absolute command of their characters and every word they utter.
At the end of the day, this is a film about chasing money, satisfying ego, and morality/integrity. Bloom is on a never-ending quest to be the best in the world, no what she does. Here, she creates one of the world’s greatest high-stakes poker games. It is so good that it attracts the Russian mob and the FBI; a couple owning a radar you should avoid at all cost. Accomplishing such a feat satisfies Bloom’s ego but she reveals her true character when everything comes crashing down.
Hosting such an elaborate event becomes her own form of gambling. As an audience member, you know there is no easy way out of this life. When Molly is finally caught, it is her refusal to name names that will stick with you. It reveals much about her character and serves as a clarion call for a world that needs to get back in touch with such a concept. For this reason alone, I cannot recommend this film enough.
Be good to each other,
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