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Molly's Game (2017)

Mark Booth

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Title: Molly's Game (2017)

Tagline: Deal with her.

Genre: Crime, Drama

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O'Dowd, Bill Camp, Samantha Isler, Piper Howell, Brian d'Arcy James, J.C. MacKenzie, Graham Greene, Matthew D. Matteo, Joe Keery, Natalie Krill, Claire Rankin, Madison McKinley, Khalid Klein, Victor Serfaty, Jon Bass, Angela Gots, Michael Kostroff, Elisa Moolecherry, Robert B. Kennedy, Mary Ashton, Morgan David Jones, Joseph Brooks, Duane Murray, Bo Martyn, Todd Thomas Dark, Chris Owens, David Lafontaine, Ari Cohen, Jeffrey Parazzo, Frank Falcone, Timothy Mooney, Linette Doherty, Whitney Peak, Vladimir Tsyglian, Jeff Kassel, Dan Lett, Thomas Hauff, Chris Boyle, Rachel Skarsten, Bruno Verdoni, Amy Rutherford, Nicholas Banks, Maria Lerinman, Alyssa Veniece, Phil Primmer, Mariah Owen, Stephanie Purpuri

Release: 2017-12-21

Runtime: 140

Plot: Molly Bloom, a young skier and former Olympic hopeful becomes a successful entrepreneur (and a target of an FBI investigation) when she establishes a high-stakes, international poker game.




'Molly's Game' is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. It stars Jessica Chastain as Molly. It opens in limited distribution on Christmas day. Here's the trailer:



Some reviews have already been posted and the film currently has an 88% critic rating at RT:

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mollys_game_2017

I was looking forward to seeing 'Molly's Game' and just learned (thanks to the generosity of friends) that I've scored an advanced sneak preview seat on Monday, December 11. I'll be back that night to share my thoughts.

Mark
 
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Mark Booth

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EXCELLENT film! I was mesmerized by whole thing, though it did seem a tad longer than it needed to be. Jessica Chastain is sure to get nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, right along with Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri). I won't be surprised if it also gets a Best Picture nomination.

I was surprised that the film doesn't name the actors (first names) that are named in Molly Bloom's book. In the film, Tobey is named "Player X". No mention of Ben or Leo in the film either. Not sure why those names would changed for the film when they were used in the book. Maybe it's Hollywood trying to protect its own?

The Booth Bijou gives 'Molly's Game' 4.5 out of 5 stars (it loses half a star for being a bit too long).

Mark
 

Robert Crawford

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EXCELLENT film! I was mesmerized by whole thing, though it did seem a tad longer than it needed to be. Jessica Chastain is sure to get nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, right along with Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri). I won't be surprised if it also gets a Best Picture nomination.

I was surprised that the film doesn't name the actors (first names) that are named in Molly Bloom's book. In the film, Tobey is named "Player X". No mention of Ben or Leo in the film either. Not sure why those names would changed for the film when they were used in the book. Maybe it's Hollywood trying to protect its own?

The Booth Bijou gives 'Molly's Game' 4.5 out of 5 stars (it loses half a star for being a bit too long).

Mark
How was my guy Idris Elba in this film and did he and Jessica work well together on the big screen/film chemistry?
 
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Mark Booth

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How was my guy Idris Elba in this film and did he and Jessica work well together on the big screen/film chemistry?

Elba was also excellent and, yes, their chemistry was interesting and fun. It rang true, too, not like something that was staged. Excellent acting. Elba gives a particularly strong performance in a scene where he and Chastain are in a small interogation room with the prosecutors toward the end of the film. Pretty powerful!

You will LOVE Elba's performance, I think.

Interesting side note... When Molly sets up her first poker game on her own the camera pans around the hotel suite where the game will be taking place and it shows the types of liquor she's stocked the room with. Molly (Chastain) provides voiceover for a good portion of the film and during that scene she mentions the bottle of Macallan 18 sitting with the rest of the spirits. I chuckled to myself at that moment because, prior to the start of the film, I was in the theater's lounge enjoying a glass of Macallan 18. :)

Mark
 
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TonyD

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I’m watching this or All the Money on Christmas Day. Not sure yet.
 

Jake Lipson

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I saw this yesterday and thought it was fantastic.

Of course, we knew it would be well-written by Sorkin, but I was really impressed by how good his direction was, as well. He brought out great performances from the entire cast, and kept a firm hand on the pacing and tone. At 2 hours and 20 minutes, I guess it was long, but it felt like half that because I was so engaged. It was genuinely fun to watch, and it's really impressive that Sorkin kept this from being a sordid tabloid expose, which it very easily could have been in lesser hands.

Jessica Chastain has never been better. Molly is one of the most complex characters put on the screen this year by anyone of either gender, really, and Chastain really gets the full arc of her, carrying the movie with apparent ease. I'm sure it was much harder than it looks, but she was great, and the whole movie was fantastic.

I was glad to see this sold out yesterday when I saw it at noon.

A+.
 

Jake Lipson

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I was surprised that the film doesn't name the actors (first names) that are named in Molly Bloom's book. In the film, Tobey is named "Player X". No mention of Ben or Leo in the film either. Not sure why those names would changed for the film when they were used in the book. Maybe it's Hollywood trying to protect its own?

I haven't read the book, so I didn't know it was Tobey until I read some articles about the film after coming home last night. However, the movie establishes that they were used in the book only because the "Bad Brad" character played by Brian d'Arcy James had already named them, not because Molly did. To use their names in the film would be inconsistent with the character arc for Molly regarding protecting her own name and would probably pull audiences out of the story being told. Plus, since Tobey obviously wasn't going to come in and play himself, calling the character Player X allowed Michael Cera to create a character within the context of the story as he saw fit. If they had used Tobey's name, the actor playing him would have had to do a Tobey McGuire impression, which runs the risk of being distracting and is much more more restrictive to their acting process. That being said, I wonder what the guys who are in the story under these pseudonyms think about the film, or if they will see it. Let's say, for example, that it did receive a Best Picture nomination. Do you think Tobey, who is probably an Academy member, would actually vote for it?
 

mattCR

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Saw it today. I thought the script was eh. Overly cute, over-worked, with too many sorkin-isms, and I normally love Sorkin but this came across as a story that could be told in maybe an hour, tops, stretched out with long moments of nothing.

I left the theater thinking how much better this could have been, but how much it reminded me of Chastain's effort last year in "Miss Sloane" another overworked vehicle.

This isn't a bad film, but it isn't a great one either. B-
 

Keith Cobby

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Will get this on blu-ray in due course. Currently watching Miss Sloane (Christmas pressie). Jessica Chastain is excellent as usual but the benchmark for me is her sublime performance in The Tree of Life.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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A perfect Sorkin topic (addiction of several varieties) with the rapid-fire dialogue you would expect, not leaving a breath in-between. And a perfect Winston Churchill quote to end on (no spoiler here, you'll hear it).

(But it was distracting to have an award season screener with the text 'for your consideration' plastered on the frame throughout, when most screeners just flash that for a moment).
 
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TravisR

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I liked this movie alot. Aaron Sorkin is one of the best writers in the business and Jessica Chastain is an excellent actor. She shines and will get an Oscar nomination. Idris Elba & Kevin Costner both do nice work and get some very good monologues. The movie is a little long but it never dragged for me.
 

Jake Lipson

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Will get this on blu-ray in due course. Currently watching Miss Sloane

It's interesting that you bring up Miss Sloane in context of this film. I liked it, too, but one of the things that struck me about it when I saw it, I felt that it was trying to mimic Sorkin's rapid-fire style, even though he did not write it. And then she turns up a year later in an actual Sorkin film.
 

Patrick Sun

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Molly's Game - Jessica Chastain is also a shoo-in for a Best actress Oscar nomination for her work in this film, from first-time director Aaron Sorkin (he doesn't quite know how to move the camera like some top-notch directors, so it's a fairly safely told tale). The dialogue is solid, though, and the exposition still holds your interest.
 
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