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Molly’s Game Review

14 Dec

Molly’s Game works as well as it does due to the sheer vitality of Jessica Chastain’s performance. As an actor, she isn’t the most overt emoter, and she doesn’t need to be. She manages to draw an incredible amount of empathy out of her characters, always in control but willing to let the cracks in the armor show. She is one of the most remarkably restrained, yet emotionally potent, actors in Hollywood. She excels at taking these strong, resolute women through hell and back, coming out stronger and more complex while being very aware of the gender dynamics of her characters. Molly Bloom is by necessity steely and crafty, but she is also a human being in a world that oftentimes has no regard for humanity. As Bloom, Chastain is a scorching force of nature. It’s easy to praise her more dramatic moments later in the film, but watch her every move during her initial rise to power. You want to root for Molly as she begins to learn, as she faces disrespect from her boss, as she gains more and more confidence.

Sorkin has written tighter and more entertaining scripts before, and the narration in this one is a bit overdone. His dialogue isn’t quite as energetic as it has been in the past, and there’s a late act character development that is questionable as a supposed emotional anchor for the film. However, he also does a nice job of charting the various rises and falls of Molly Bloom, keeping the spotlight up close to her and committing to her story with some of his trademark techniques. As was the case with The Wolf of Wall Street, watching the “rise” is more intriguing than watching the “downfall”, but Chastain and Elba give fiery performances that help the film retain some of its shine as it moves toward its conclusion. Shoutout to Camp and Cera for their small but solid roles. The film overall is a bit too long and does inspire some fatigue, but the story is engaging enough and Chastain is an absolute star. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the way the film is constructed, but it manages to work.

GRADE: B+

Always a pleasure to see Jessica. In terms of celebrities I’ve talked to, it’s basically her and Zachary Levi at the top and then everyone else.

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4 Responses to “Molly’s Game Review”

  1. Keith Noakes December 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

    I’m excited to see this on Monday.

    • polarbears16 December 16, 2017 at 11:16 pm #

      I’ll be on the lookout for your review!

  2. Cindy Bruchman December 16, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    Nice review. I admire Chastain lot.

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