Saturday, January 13, 2018

Molly's Game - Movie Review

The Movie: Molly's Game

The Director: Aaron Sorkin

The Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O'Dowd, Brian d'Arcy James, Natalie Krill, Stephanie Herfeld

The Story: The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.

The Review:
With Aaron Sorkin writing the screen adaptation, I already knew this was most likely going to be the most well written movie of the year and I was not disappointed in any way, shape or form. The dialog is brilliant and the back and forth wordplay between Chastain and Elba is such a treat to watch unfold. Since this was his first directorial effort, I was willing to give Sorkin a little rope and it was definitely needed. The movie isn't bad by any means, there are just a few missteps and inconsistencies here and there that a more experienced director may have been able to avoid.

Let's be honest here, every single person that stepped into a theater to watch this movie was there to see Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, or both of them together so the story just had to be decent to get by. That being said, the story is really well told which just elevates everything else and puts both of the lead actors in position to receive plenty of much deserved acclaim. Elba's performance is so effortless and engaging, he could have recited paragraphs from a biophysics text book and you would have been enthralled.

Jessica Chastain has been one of my favorite actresses ever since watching her light up the screen in The Help and there's definitely been a bit of a Hollywood crush in place ever since. What she does here as Molly Bloom is so vibrant and expressive and I would say it is easily her best work since Zero Dark Thirty or A Most Violent Year. Take all of that awesomeness and pair it up head to head against Idris Elba and that is where the real magic happens. Kevin Costner is also in the mix although in a much smaller role as Bloom's father, but he still takes full advantage of the material given to him in the script.

The Verdict:
Molly's Game is a highly entertaining look at the life of a young woman caught up in and capitalizing on money, greed, gambling, drugs, fame and the underworld that controls all of it. Aaron Sorkin goes all in for his directorial debut and draws a winning hand that is sure to hit the jackpot.

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