MASTER OF DRAMAIt’s the directorial debut from Aaron Sorkin, the absolute master of punchy dialogue. He wrote presidential TV drama The West Wing as well as A Few Good Men and the biographical blockbusters Moneyball, Steve Jobs and The Social Network.
POKER PRINCESSThis is biographical too, and what a life to choose. Molly Bloom was a world-class skier who, after an accident, switched jobs to run high stakes poker games for some of America’s richest and most secretive figures. Inevitably the mob got involved. We meet her as the FBI are banging on her door.
JACKHAMMER DIALOGUESorkin wants this female-dominated tale to make up for the male bias in his previous work – all powerful men striding down corridors flinging political insights and insults. This time, it’s Jessica Chastain flinging the lines, but there’s no slowing down. ‘The dialogue is paced at about the intensity of a jackhammer,’ said a reviewer at the Toronto Film Festival, ‘and every sentence ends on a twist of the one that came before.’
CRAZY GOOD CASTChastain ought to be enough of a draw for anyone, having won an Oscar in 2013 for Zero Dark Thirty – a film as factual and fast-paced as Molly’s Game. But there’s also a great turn from Idris Elba as her reluctant lawyer, Kevin Costner as her seedy father and Michael Cera, brilliantly cast against type as - well, basically as Tobey Maguire, who was a regular at the real-life Molly Bloom’s illicit poker games (although they don’t use Tobey’s name).
DANGEROUS GAMESo why the ‘female Goodfellas’ tag? Because it’s about a hardworking person who finds her calling in a job that’s not strictly legal. Like Henry Hill, Molly gets sucked into a world that offers huge rewards, but whose stakes get higher and higher until it all comes crashing down. All told through that snap-snap-snap Sorkin dialogue. What’s not to love?
Place your bets: get Molly’s Game tickets for this Saturday 9 December.