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Molly's Game

Aaron Sorkin is one of the greatest screenwriters to work in film, period. It’s surprising that the mind behind such great films like A Few Good Men, The Social Network, Moneyball, and the famed TV series The West Wing had never directed a film before in his decades-long career. He’s finally gotten the chance with Molly’s Game.

Molly’s Game is the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) who after a brief stint as a skiing prodigy in the 90s, ran one of the highest-profile underground poker games in the world. Her events attracted celebrities from all over the business spectrum in America, but after a few irregularities, the FBI investigated her. The film doesn’t have a linear structure, meaning that we frequently jump around from: Molly and her lawyer (Idris Elba) building up her defense, to Molly’s childhood with her tough and pushy father (Kevin Costner), to how she rose through the ranks to build her poker empire.

As with all Sorkin movies, the dialogue is one of the richest parts of the film, with all characters portrayed as intelligent and fast-talking individuals. Sorkin also succeeded, effortlessly, in transitioning into the director’s chair. One might even think that he’d been directing for years, although it must be said that a dominating Jessica Chastain, on which his entire film hinges, also helps him.

Chastain is certainly one of the best actresses working today, she’s able to choose projects based on quality rather than a paycheck as seen by her latest choices to work with well-known directors such a John Madden in Miss Sloan, Guillermo del Toro in Crimson Peak, and Christopher Nolan in Interstellar. In Molly’s Game Chastain slips perfectly into the intense role and dialogue she’s given, so that she keeps the tension and pace going at such speed you has barely enough time to blink. Her role is so rich and complex that you can’t help but think that if this film hadn’t been based on a true story, the role would have definitely been cast as male.

There’s certainly a problem, as with all Sorkin movies, that everything is happening so fast you can miss out if you don’t have subtitles. I didn’t necessarily have a problem with Molly’s Game, but for other audience members not knowledgeable with the story or of Sorkin’s style, it could prove a bit overwhelming. Nevertheless, you can’t deny that this is the dream debut for any director; Sorkin’s script doesn’t disappoint, and Chastain’s powerful performance is truly inspirational.


About Young Critic

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I've been writing on different version of this website since February of 2013. I originally founded the website through a film-buff phase in high-school, but it has since continued through college and into my adult life. Young Critic may be getting older, but the love and passion for film is forever young. 

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