Jessica Chastain is the real deal in “Molly’s Game”
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Justin Kirk
Director: Aaron Sorkin
It chronicles the life of Molly Bloom, a complex and razor-sharp woman, who organised underground big-stake poker games in LA for business executives and the Hollywood elite. What Molly (brilliantly portrayed by a sexy Jessica Chastain) did not know was that organised crime got a foot in the door – and her life was dramatically changed when the FBI stepped in and dragged her to court.
She hired a top-notch lawyer, the ethically-torn Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), to defend her and the court-case, plus details of her fascinating lifestyle make compelling viewing.
What is even more compelling is the fact that the film is directed by the renowned Aaron Sorkin, whose verbal cadences have been recognised in countless movies and TV projects – but this is the first time he has written and directed a movie himself.
Molly Bloom was an Olympic skier whose career was cut short by an injury. She then worked for a shady businessman (Jeremy Strong) who organised underground high stakes poker games. She soon took over and upgraded the entire operation and increased its worth.
Seductively dressed to intimidate the clients, this gambling queen ruled her kingdom with an iron glove.
The movie, adapted from Molly Bloom’s book and memoirs, is executed on three different time-lines and crackles with intensity. Sorkin manages to mine the sexiest, most cinematic and most enigmatic moments from this real-life story. Jessica Chastain’s Molly narrates it in a typically witty and dry, Sorkin-esque prologue. The celebrated actress has a chameleon-like ability to adapt to situations and rationalise her worst behaviour.
Kevin Costner plays Molly’s military-intense, dominating father with whom she loses touch but reconnects towards the end, and Idris Elba, as her lawyer, again turns in a polished performance.
Michael Cera plays one of the elite gamblers, a multi-millionaire with a sarcastic and mean attitude.
Personally, I know little about cards and don’t understand some of the intricacies of the game – but this need not be a downer because the quality of the script and Jessica Chastain’s controlled performance make “Molly’s Game” a worthwhile cinematic experience.