There’s a lot of money talk in “Molly’s Game, whether it’s understandable or not. Most of it is provided by Jessica Chastain, who narrates the film with the same magic given by Leonardo Di Caprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Ignore the money chattering, and enjoy “Molly’s Game” for its acting and I.Q.
Chastain stars as Molly Bloom, a would-be ski champ and would-be lawyer, who runs a poker game, and ends up getting arrested by the FBI for it. They consider it illegal, but Molly says otherwise. And this movie is based on Bloom’s autobiographical novel.
Before her arrest, we see her in LA looking for odd jobs, including one as a production assistant, in order to pay for law school. One night, she helps out at a poker game and earns a nice chunk of change. That’s when the game changes got Molly.
She has movie stars, businessmen, and the Russian mob on the tables, and each of them have ambitions of their own.
The cast also includes Idris Elba as Molly’s attorney, who struggles to support Molly during the trial; Kevin Costner as Molly’s therapist father, whom she picks arguments with him; Jeremy Strong as Molly’s former pushy boss; Michael Cera as a famous movie star; and Chris O’Dowd as the only Irishman on the tables.
And out of these stars Chastain has style, vulnerability, and charisma; Elba works well as the attorney; and Costner is likable as the father.
This is the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, the writer of “The West Wing,” “Moneyball,” and “The Social Network,” among others. He does a nice job directing “Molly’s Game,” and although I couldn’t get fully involved with the numbers, I still enjoyed the movie for its strong ambitions and Chastain’s charms.
And for the record, when I gamble in Atlantic City, I just play the slot machines, but does that prevent me from liking the movie? No.