Molly's Game (2017)
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- 140 min.
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Molly's Game is no less than what you'd expect from Aaron Sorkin: Great. The script crackles with his signature patter, wit and driving pulse that propels this film forward. It is slick, moves with a purpose and never leaves you hanging.
Jessica Chastain is equally great, carrying this film to its full potential. Idris Elba is fine, certainly conveying the confused and helpful lawyer role to perfection (though his accent did slip out every once in a while).
For a first time director, Sorkin does a great job. His editing really carries the day, and the parallel narrative serves his purpose well.
If there's anything to quibble about, it's the motivation of the main character toward the end of the film, but I'll leave that as a minor point of contention. Sorkin's script certainly does not leave that stone unturned, and frankly gives us a great scene
on a park bench (though I still doubt the motivations despite the scene's purpose).
All in all, Molly's Game is more greatness from Sorkin's mind.
5 stars out of 5
Half the film is a narration with the voice in off, something that any book would tell you is a NO-NO. I would have thought Mr Sorkin's writing technique was better.
Suprisingly, he even received a nomination for this script.
Left entirely to his own devices, Aaron Sorkin offers Molly's Game, the latest in his line of biopics, but where others transcend the genre and become heightened realities that deconstruct the person's life to recreate it as literary art, we feel his usual transformations much less. There are still the themes that have always interested him as a writer - ethics, daddy issues - but the tropes aren't as recognizable. The language seems pulled more from Molly Bloom's book too (and a LOT of narration), Sorkin's trademark banter present but not dominant. That's disappointing in a way, because his writing usually taps into something deep within me, but I also applaud his stretching himself into new directions, as it's true he could be boiled down to a checklist. What's really of interest is that despite an illuminating speech here and there, the subtext is nevertheless left open-ended, with multiple interpretations possible, and a lot of the work is done by the editing, cutting back and forth through Molly's life to inform the character. Jessica Chastain is good, though she's definitely not out of her element. The same goes for her co-stars, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, and a smarmy Michael Cera.
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