Sometimes certain films come along that leave audiences dazzled, completely and utterly thirsty for more. Those remarkable examples of movies that combine masterful screenwriting with exceptional acting performances and intriguing storylines are among the lucky few. For this to occur, there must be a great film mind behind the effort, moving and guiding all parts equally. It’s no surprise then that award-winning writer and director Aaron Sorkin gave viewers an instant hit in the poker drama Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain.
The 2017 premier is still being discussed today as it garnered an extremely positive response at the box office and over a dozen accolades in various festivals and award ceremonies. Most notably, the film earned several Golden Globe nods, including nominations for best actress and screenplay. Let’s take a look at why Molly’s Game is a definite five-star production.
On-screen performances that you truly believe
Jessica Chastain leads the cast playing Molly Bloom, a professional skier who decides to run underground poker games after becoming injured in the midst of Olympic trials. As her career takes a sharp, unprecedented turn, she moves to New York City and starts over. Once there, she discovers the world of poker through a former boss that hosts his own games. Slowly but surely, Bloom’s intelligence and wit lend her to make millions of dollars holding the tournaments herself, a thousand times better and more effective than her male counterparts.
Chastain’s performance is a holistic knockout; she’s a dominant force to be reckoned with, and Sorkin’s writing turns her into a truly believable and authentic character. These home competitions quickly turned into some of Hollywood’s most famous poker games, and Chastain perfectly captures what it meant to be in the center of the action, especially as a woman in a business filled with men.
The film gives an insider look into the famous strategy game. Although Sorkin claimed it’s not explicitly a movie about poker, it’s shaping up to be one of the best modern examples of the game represented on the big screen. There’s no doubt that Chastain’s performance draws viewers in and allows them to watch from the sidelines of nosebleed action a great story about the world’s most-played card game. This takes us to our next point that supports the dominance of Molly’s Game: plotline.
The story is dynamic, fast-paced, and fun all around
Jessica Chastain may have brought the story of Molly Bloom’s career and poker games to life, but the plot itself allows the film to jump off the screen and directly into the hearts of viewers. Although it’s loosely based on Bloom’s memoir of the same name, Sorkin worked with other writers, adding various storylines and scene adaptions to spice up the production.
For example, the film depicts Molly’s tournaments filled with dozens of celebrities from Matt Damon to Tobey McGuire, but Bloom’s real games may have had fewer A-list actors at the table. Adding these notable faces to the film interested viewers and created an even greater dynamic in the plot. Similarly, Molly’s fall shown at the film’s start wasn’t actually accurate to Bloom’s real-life and instead of an embellishment for the purpose of drama. However, Sorkin accomplished what he set out to do because that opening scene is clearly one that hooked audiences from the very beginning. In fact, it wouldn’t be overstated to say that the skiing scene set the tone for the entire film.
Verdict: Although there are slight differences between the film and memoir, the movie’s fast-paced nature takes audiences on a wild ride from start to finish. In case you’re late to the game, and you haven’t already gotten the chance to see the spectacular poker drama Molly’s Game, it’s still currently available on Netflix and other participating streaming services.
What did you think about Jessica Chastain’s performance? Let us know in the comments!
- Great actor
- True story
- Could have had better feel-good moments
- Real characters didn't feel real