Training for the olympics takes a level of dedication, endurance and focus that very few people have. Individuals who possess these incredible qualities and are able to perform at such a level of excellence they’re selected to represent their country are celebrated by the world every four years. We always hear about the winners. What happens to those who don’t make it? What becomes of their lives? Great questions. I like where your heads at. Let’s see if “Molly’s Game” is able to answer those questions or if it goes full tilt, in this review.
This film is based on the real life story of Molly Bloom, former world class professional skier, now turned entrepreneur who ran high stakes poker games for Hollywood celebrities, Wall Streeters, the mob and more. Eventually, her story peaked the interest of the FBI and that’s the story this film looks to explore. We get to meet Molly, her family, and a few curious characters who frequent her games, as well as, a few attorneys. In all, everyone feels like they play a very specific purpose for moving the plot forward to tell the story as it was intended to be told. There is no fluff or extravagance in this film. It examines the events of Molly’s life leading up to the arrest by the FBI, the relationship she develops with her attorney, and specific moments that occurred during her time running these high dollar poker games and the emotional impact it had on her family upon their discovery of the legal trouble she has fallen into.
Overall, the story is written well enough but it’s the dialogue that shines. The story structure moves quickly and with exactness. The interactions the characters have is where we are treated to exposition and points of view that are often conflicting, which gives us as an audience more to think about during and after the movie. Each character is there for a specific reason and their perspectives either challenge Molly’s view of things, support them or create potentially life threatening moments. In all, the dialogue is often as quick as the tempo of the film but I found it to be the highlight of the movie.
Regarding the actors, I wasn’t blown away by any single performance. I thought everyone was fine in their role and they all complimented each other so that it felt like an ensemble piece even though the story is entirely about Molly and her poker game. Jessica Chastain (Molly Bloom) seemed comfortable and believable. Since I am unaware of the real life story or person I can’t speak to how accurate a portrayal she gave as Molly, but, I found her onscreen presence enjoyable once I understood the rhythm/pattern of thought and speech she had to give. Idris Elba (Attorney Charlie Jaffey) played a nice emotional counter to her rigid and calculating personality. The two of them I thought worked well against each other, however, I didn’t walk out of the theater expecting them to both be nominated for their roles.
“Molly’s Game” is playing in your local theater now! I enjoyed my time in the theater with this film and I’ll recommend you check it out on the big screen only if you enjoy court room legal dramas and biography style films. If you prefer action, lusty romance, lots of special effects, robots or monsters, this is definitely not the movie for you. This is a dramatic movie that is well paced and well written. It’s people talking about life, their experiences, view points and hopes. If “Oscar Season” is your favorite time of year for film, this is the movie for you. Check it out!