Review by Myla Tosatto
About three-fourths of the way into the directorial debut from Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game, Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) tells Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) that even though she is tabloid fodder, he is okay with her being his daughter’s role model. I think that sums up my feeling pretty much, as well. I wasn’t sure if I should cheer on the strong, smart, acid- tongued Molly or hope she got what was coming to her. It is hard (yet exciting) to root for a female antihero. Though, in fairness, she did try to run her poker business legally. She made some bad choices (who amongst us hasn’t?), but that makes for a great movie. This movie is exciting and fast paced and with a running time of 2 hours and 21 minutes will leave you wanting more! Is it a crime study, a comedy, a biopic, a high stakes caper movie, or a court room drama? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. It is also a movie that lets the gifted Jessica Chastain and Kevin Costner, as her father Larry Bloom, shine.
Do you need to understand poker to enjoy this film? Nope. I have basic knowledge (I know what pocket aces, the flop and river are, and that’s about it). Do you need to know about skiing? Again, no. Psychology? No. The Crucible? It might help, but no. RICO violations (if you don’t know what these are, I bet you will soon!)? No. Even though some pretty specifics topics are raised here, you can just enjoy this movie for enjoyment’s sake.
If you are new to the world of Sorkin (The West Wing, Sports Night, The Newsroom) be prepared for his love of language and rat-a-tat dialog. This is not the movie to indulge in a large soda. Bathroom breaks should be avoided.
P.S. This is my favorite movie of 2017 (so far). It is soooo weird that movies that pass the Bechdel test end up being the best movies, isn’t it? Did you read that last sentence in a sarcastic voice? You should have.
Molly’s Game is NOW PLAYING in theaters!
MOLLY’S GAME is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. Rated R.
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