In Molly’s Game Molly Bloom is a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who 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.
Sorkin’s script is a structural marvel, intermingling Molly’s backstory and its aftermath, but with carefully considered in-points, out-points, and connecting hinges. Most of Chastain’s latter-day scenes are shared with Idris Elba as her initially reluctant attorney, and it’s a joy to watch these two strong actors lock horns; like the Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs, the duet dialogue scenes have the juice of fistfights, and the results are electrifying. (Elba even gets a good old-fashioned Aaron Sorkin barn-burner monologue.)
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