Molly’s Game

The Guardian Weekly - - Culture Reviews - Wendy Ide

We all know Aaron Sorkin can write. The one-man zeit­geist be­hind The West Wing blends skill, smart­ness and, par­tic­u­larly, showi­ness in a way that leaves no ques­tion about his tal­ent. But can he di­rect? Hav­ing now watched his di­rec­to­rial de­but twice, I am still not en­tirely sure that he can.

Most cer­tainly he can put to­gether a slickly en­ter­tain­ing story: Molly’s Game, based on the au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of dis­graced “poker princess” Molly Bloom, rat­tles along nicely. In the cen­tral role, Jes­sica Chas­tain is phe­nom­e­nal.

For­merly a freestyle skier who hoped to com­pete at the Olympics, Bloom is driven to suc­ceed. She re­alises that to make it in the world of spoilt

super-rich boys, she needs to brand her­self as the ultimate unattain­able nat­tain­able lux­ury item.

Sorkin’s main skill is in keep­ing all the jug­gled ug­gled story el­e­ments aloft. We see Molly’s life through ugh flash­backs (Kevin n Cost­ner makes an n im­pres­sion as her r over­bear­ing fa­ther). Ex­po­si­tion is deftly de­liv­ered vered through Molly’s meet­ings with her at­tor­ney Char­lie rlie Jaf­fey (Idris Elba). Elba is as good as s I have ever seen him. Jaf­fey and Bloom’s m’s spark­ing scenes to­gether are de­li­ciously ciously brac­ing. The thrill of watch­ing g two ac­tors at the top of their game e is Sorkin’s win­ning card.

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