By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
Who could’ve guessed that giving Aaron Sorkin total creative control would turn out this well? After all, he didn’t even have full control of The Newsroom, as much as that reflected his voice, and look how that turned out.
You remember The Newsroom, right?
Sorkin writes and directs the wild true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), a former Olympic-class ski jumper who finds herself helping run, then taking control of a high class poker game packed with celebrities and millionaires.
Aaron Sorkin never tells a straight story, so the rise and fall of Molly Bloom is intercut with her telling her story to a lawyer (Idris Elba) who agrees to defend her against his better instincts and her refusal to give up any information on the high-profile players who she arranged games for. Both Chastain and Elba are firecracker in these framing scenes, and Chastain in particular breathes real, true badass life into a razor sharp woman who can’t help but push to be the absolute best at whatever she sets her mind to.
Sorkin’s dialogue is as sharp as ever, particularly in Sorkin’s climactic monologue, but also viciously so in Bloom’s exchange with the enigmatic Player X, a movie star card shark with a cruel streak that we are 99.9% sure is actually Tobey Maguire (Leo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and many more are also believed to have been players).
This actually might be a truer reflection of Maguire’s personality
Sorkin also shows surprising directorial chops in his directorial debut, which is perfectly paced despite a typically long running time. In the end, that framing structure sets it firmly as his script and firmly as a fascinating true story well told.
Well, mostly true. This is also very much a Sorkin “Great Person” hagiography, which doesn’t mind inflating some of the details, like Bloom’s court fine being only 1,000 dollars instead of 125,000 bucks for dramatic effect.
Molly’s Game is a propulsive and energetic true-life thrill-ride through the corridors of the rich and powerful with characteristically biting wit and attitude courtesy of Aaron Sorkin and Jessica Chastain.
Molly’s Game (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Tobey Maguire..aherm…Michael Cera acts like a dick
Take a Drink: whenever a character does
Take a Drink: whenever the action switches back to Molly’s present-day troubles
Do a Shot: when the mob makes their presence terrifyingly known