No Budget Goes to the Movies: Molly’s Game
Molly’s Game – An exhilarating directorial debut from Aaron Sorkin with a star turn from Jessica Chastain.
The film is based on the book of the same name. It tells the true life story of Molly Bloom who after an accident in a skiing competition is forced to abandon her dreams of pursing Olympic Gold. Molly finds herself working for a man who asks her to help out in high stake poker games. These become one of the most exclusive poker games in the world involving high profile celebrities, athletes, businessmen and later even the Russian mob. Branching out on her own she ends up illegally taking a cut to cover her losses. She becomes a target of an FBI investigation and a case is brought against her by the United States of America. She hires a lawyer, played by an impressive Idris Elba, to help fight her case. The film is told mostly in flashback.
Jessica Chastain absolutely shines in this film portraying Molly Bloom as a feisty character with a sense of vulnerability underneath her hard exterior. Molly’s father, played by Kevin Costner, has a small part in the film but his presence is felt throughout. As a skier he pushed Bloom beyond her limits and it’s this relationship that fuels Molly’s decisions and utter determination, even when the outcome is likely to fail and cause her to end up on the other side of the law. As well as Idris Elba, Michael Cera and Chris O’Dowd, playing a convincing Irish American, give strong support throughout.
Running at 140 minutes the film is long but with the sharp dialogue, quick edits and the action that Sorkin has successfully transferred from script to screen the films length is not felt. For non-poker aficionados like myself screen grabs and a voiceover are used to explain the different hands. If you’re looking something fast paced that puts you on the edge of your seat with terrific performances all round Molly’s Game is the film for you.
Molly’s Game is released in cinemas nationwide on December 26th.
Review by Claire Millane, a Dublin based actor writer and one of the presenters of No-Budget.