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Molly Bloom, a beautiful young Olympic-class skier, 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. Written by
Nothing comes close to the rush of winning, at least according to those who have succeeded where others have failed. Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) managed to become a millionaire with a dose of luck, will and endless street smarts. The former professional skier ran high stakes poker-games in Los Angeles and New York and found herself in the middle of a federal investigation, where she was accused of colluding with organized crime.
Being a sucker for great stories of real life characters, it is easy to see what Aaron Sorkin saw in the very true tale of Molly Bloom. The American ethos of being No. 1 combined with the isolation and principles of its heroine make "Molly's Game" a tremendous playing field for Sorkin's directorial debut.
Even though he has dealt with themes of power, loyalty and the darker side of entrepreneurial endeavors in "The Social Network", "Newsroom", "Steve Jobs" and "Moneyball", what sets this story apart is that Sorkin chooses to layer the rise-and-fall of the titular character with questions about business morals and the loss of a more principled economic system, that has been washed away by fast-buck artists and fatalistic devil-may-care attitudes.
"Molly's Game" has a speedy pace, marvelous performances by both Chastain and Idris Elba, as her lawyer, and is directed with a sure hand. Which makes Sorkin's first directorial outing a joy to watch.
It's two-hour-plus running time glides by like a breeze and ends on a corny yet truthful note about the virtues of failure, that is a glimmer of hope in times of struggle, as well as one of the tenets of screen writing.
The fight, the hustle and the failure never end, but then again, so do the rewards in their own funny way. You win some, you lose some, and Sorkin never seems to forget how close he is to the edge.
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