Molly’s Game is a refreshingly told, in your face biopic of Molly. The success of this is down to a central character and powerful portrayal by Jessica Chastain, it is also its’ Achilles heel as all the supporting characters are well, flat. If you fail to engage with Molly then the film will be 120 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back. For everyone else, it may just have upped the ante where biopics are concerned.
Molly Bloom is the girl that for two years ran the biggest, illicit poker table in the world, well in New York at least, and picked up the moniker of Poker Princess. Molly is an overachiever and was destined to be an Olympic skier until a horrific accident ended that dream. She took that determination and diligence and instead of going to law school ended up running the biggest illicit gambling table. That is until she was allowed the Russian mob to join her game and well gangsters and royalty don’t mix.
This whole tale based on Molly Bloom’s autobiography is told at a cracking pace, first person narrative under the steady guise of Aaron Sorkin who both wrote the screenplay and directed the film. Jessica Chastain dominates the screen and here is the issue, Molly’s story is extraordinary but all the other characters feel two dimensional. It may work well on the page but on screen, the supporting characters need to come to life. Kevin Costner as Molly’s dad is the only character that comes close. Even Idris Elba as the honest lawyer, yes they do exist, doesn’t really come to life. Having said that the photography is excellent, the tempo good and the script provides enough poker jargon without the viewer ever becoming bored.
What is great about the film is that this is Molly’s story told without pity or the use of sex, just a good old fashioned story about an unorthodox way of making a lot of money.
Molly’s Game opens in cinemas across the UK on New Year’s Day – 1 Jan 2018
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