WEEK #1 – MOLLY’S GAME
In 2016, I saw 65 movies in theatres. In 2017, I saw 85 (shooting for 100). This year, I wanted to challenge myself, in a new way, when it came to movies.
So, I came up with “ORDER FOR…”, a set of movie reviews, where each one, hopefully, can be read while waiting for your Grande White Chocolate Mocha, one Monday morning before heading to your 9-5.
Published bi-weekly, ORDER FOR is my (SPOILER FREE) opinion. It doesn’t come from years of scholarly understanding of film, or any agenda. I’m just a film-loving boy, standing in front of a film interested reader, telling you my opinion about a film.
Sound good? Awesome. Let’s get started.
THE PITCH: Molly Bloom (Chastain), is a recovering Olympic qualifying competitive skier, whose career was ended abruptly after a fluke accident. Looking for a new start, she moves to LA, when she discovers poker, a game of skill, not luck, and sees a way to reignite that competitive hunger that fueled her for so many years. But at a cost, a cost that her lawyer (Elba), will do his best to mitigate. If Bloom doesn’t stand in his way.
- Sorkinism. With his film directorial debut, Sorkin reminds us that he’s a damn good director, and his ability to combine seriousness with comedy is a skill currently lacking in current TV options.
- Chastain. I’m a little biased since I’ve loved her since ZERO DARK THIRTY, THE DEBT is one of my favourite movies, she EXCELLED in CRIMSON PEAK (seeing a theme here?), but Chastain was perfect for this movie. Her cool stoic attitude that isn’t offensive, but admirable, really added to the character, and Chastain proves, once again, she’s one of the best actresses of our generation.
- Elba. Idris Elba is pretty. There, I said it. Even in a movie where he could have (should have) been used more, his looks, his smile, his accent, it was all enough. It was nice to see a male, black character as a positive role model, too. One who grows as the movie goes on, doesn’t put down the female characters, and who respects them.
- The Length. Coming in just under two and a half hours, MOLLY’S GAME could use with cutting about 15 percent of itself from the 3rd act. There are a few moments where I was like is this still going on and it felt more like a series of events less than a cohesive movie.
- Poker. Look, if you know Poker, you’ll be fine. But if you’re someone (like me) who barely knows the game, they throw a lot—and I mean a lot of things to you. Phrases, expressions, terms, scenes, things that are hard to keep up with. Mixing that with Sorkin’s style of rapid dialogue, only increases the chance of you getting lost in the card shuffle of expressions. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming.
- Female Representation. Besides Molly, the only females we see in the movie are employed as call girls, bartenders, waitresses, etc. Characters whose whole personality, focus, and creation are to appeal to men. Making the only named female Molly, yes, centers the movie around her. But does a disservice by not involving any other females of power, agency, or relevance to the film.
YOU’LL LIKE THIS MOVIE IF…
You’re a fan of Sorkin, Chastain, Elba, or underdog stories.
YOU’LL DISLIKE THIS MOVIE IF…
You’re going into it, expecting some high stakes drama, with witty, back-and-forth, that leaves you as shook as Mrs Sloane.