The minute I saw that Aaron Sorkin had a new film coming out I was beyond excited to see it; Sorkin is the writer behind The West Wing which I love and The Social Network which I…also love.
Molly’s Game is the story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). Encouraged by her father (Kevin Costner) to become a champion skier, a freak accident sees her re-examine what her life will look like. She finds herself working for douchey Dean (Jeremy Strong) who introduces her to the world of celebrity poker, a world she ends up pursuing a very successful career in; only to have it come crashing down with an FBI investigation. The film flicks between her past, and her present, where she is attempting to convince lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) of her innocence.
As you would expect if you’re familiar with Sorkin’s work, the dialogue in this is very snappy and smart. It’s also often funny which is a pleasant surprise in a film that has potential to be a bit dry. This obsession with words does occasionally bleed into the direction, which does have a lot of narration. Sorkin does also seem to borrow from Fincher’s work on The Social Network, particularly on snappy montages around the poker table.
The film requires a compelling and central performance, and Chastain is fantastic as Molly. She is excellent at showing Molly’s cool ambition, whilst always retaining a connection to the audience. She also just looks stunning, which I feel bad for mentioning, but I did spend a lot of the film wishing I looked like her. Elba is also great as her reluctant defence lawyer; and there are other good supporting performances from Michael Cera as Player X, a horrendously douchey actor; Bill Camp as Harlan Eustice, a poker player who falls foul of the game and Brian d’Arcy James as Brad, a terrible player.
I really enjoyed this film and I would highly recommend checking it out. I came out feeling very ‘girl boss’, making it a great film to see on the first day of 2018.