Can’t read her Poker-Face (Molly’s Game review)

Telling the true story of Molly Bloom, ‘Molly’s Game’ relays how the American entrepreneur went from a failed Olympic career to being the runner of a multi-million, high-stakes poker game. The screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin, who also directed (in his directorial debut).

The cast are superb, but clearly Jessica Chastain steals the show. Narrating the whole film as well as controlling the action, she has delivered potentially the best performance of her career. Starring alongside her are Idris Elba, who demands attention as Molly’s lawyer, and Kevin Costner as Molly’s dad. Not happy with having three very strong leads, the film boasts an incredible supporting cast with the likes of Michael Cera, Chris O’Dowd and Brian d’Arcy James (who played Shrek in the Broadway musical) all joining in with the poker games.

The screenplay is another brilliant script from Aaron Sorkin, the master of cramming loads of information in a tiny amount of space. This was also proven with his Oscar-nominated script for ‘The Social Network’. The screenplay flicks very well between the present day, and the events Molly is describing, and never gets too lost in either narrative to make the return to the other jolting. There is also a great amount of humour in the script, and it’s this humour that best carries the film through the slightly lengthy 2hrs20mins.

Unfortunately, the film was let down by some fairly easy to fix mistakes. The biggest issue I had were the examples of sloppy editing. One scene where Molly is drinking a hot chocolate features several jarring edits where one second she’s drinking and the next her arm has jolted down. Perhaps worse was the horrific continuity of a whiteboard. Idris Elba is explaining the case on a whiteboard, but every time we cut back to his, the letters and lines are in a different place. I found them incredible distracting, and this let the film down.

Overall, the film is worth a watch. It is an entertaining biopic that boasts incredible on screen talent, a brilliantly written script, and a perfect example of how not to edit a whiteboard scene.

7 Stars

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