This is the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier sidelined by an injury who became the proprietor of the world’s richest and most exclusive high-stakes poker game.
It’s another showcase for Jessica Chastain. Can someone explain to me why this astounding actor has no Oscars to Hillary Swank’s two?
It’s also screenwriting iconoclast Aaron Sorkin’s (The West Wing, The Social Network, Moneyball) cool and confident directorial debut, so it’s talky, but, you know, in a good way. Man’s at the top of his game.
Molly’s card players included sports stars, Hollywood royalty, and business tycoons. Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck are rumored to have taken part. Unfortunately, she was unaware that a few Russian gangsters had also slipped in, so when the FBI came down on her she had to mount a legal defense. Enter Idris Elba (terrific) as lawyer Charlie Jaffey.
Crackling dialogue, expertly delivered in a dense, dramatic, informative and hugely entertaining movie, even at a longish 140 minutes. A winner. (140 min)