The true story of Molly Bloom, a failed Olympic skier who secretly
ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for years.
Molly's Game (2017)
Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner,
Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O'Dowd, Bill Camp
Based on the book by Molly Bloom
Oscar Nominations - Best Adapted Screenplay
I love biopics because the truth is always so much crazier than any story ever written, and I think Molly's Game proves that statement more than most. This is the true story of Molly Bloom, a gifted skier who missed the Olympics after an injury, then went on to run the most secretive high-stakes poker tournament in the United States, maybe the world. At the time of her arrest (and probably still), she had dirt on dozens of movie stars, athletes, politicians, and mobsters. There was a time when Molly Bloom, unbeknownst to anybody, had the most powerful people in both New York and Los Angeles in her pocket.
Jessica Chastain delivers yet another flawless performance as Molly Bloom, playing her with charm, strength, anger, and most importantly vulnerability. Molly Bloom wasn't a monster. She just ran a game for people who could afford to lose $500,000 a night, sometimes more. Whatever happened at those games or who played at them wasn't her fault. I like that the movie never lets you forget that she's a person, not a tabloid monster. Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is superb, and really makes me want to read her book, but what intrigues me most is the character of Player X (played by a viciously cruel Michael Cera, in a role that's very much against type). Player X is a sociopath who forced Molly out of the L.A. game because she wouldn't sleep with him, and he's based on a real-life famous actor. What I wouldn't give to find out who it really was, though most people seem to think it's Tobey Maguire, who's famously known for both his rude behavior and addiction to poker.
I felt that Molly's Game was a gem that was criminally overlooked last year. It's intimidating runtime flies by because the story is absolutely fascinating. Using only her wits, Molly Bloom managed to enter a world where the rules are very different from what you and I see every day. In her world, money was secondary to the love of the game, and the people who lost everything in one night would come back the following week ready to lose even more. The fact that she escaped that world alive and intact is a miracle, and this film showcases her insane true story.