Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) makes his directorial debut with a movie that is never as intriguing as it thinks it is. Molly’s Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), who ran a high-stakes poker game until the federal government got interested and took everything from her. With the weight of the U.S. government bearing down on her, Molly hires attorney Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) to vigorously defend her. Still, Molly refuses to simply give up the names of her high-profile clientele and chooses to face the legal music, whether or not it is fair.
Sorkin’s script is as sharp as always, if way too reliant on Molly’s inner monologue, delivered via Chastain’s voiceover narration. Chastain is again a cinematic force, and partnering her with a co-star of equal power pays off in their scenes together. Molly’s Game detours too much into her daddy issues (Papa Bloom is fortunately played by Kevin Costner) and nears two and a half hours when a more svelte narrative could have delivered an acclaimed, if disposable, crowd pleaser. Though interesting, the film hitting theaters bluffs way too much with little more than a pair of performances in its hand.