Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with Molly's Game, a film he also wrote, and if you've ever seen a film written by Sorkin you'll know that you're in for a film where the dialogue comes at you like bullets being sprayed from a machine gun. We've seen Sorkin write films about Facebook, baseball and Apple before but Molly's Game see Sorkin explore the world of poker to bring us the true story of Molly Bloom.

Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) was known for running the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game, an entrepreneurial path chosen after injury cut her dream of skiing for the American Winter Olympics team short. It's a path that led to interactions with the Russian mafia and Bloom becoming a target for the FBI, ultimately leading to her attempting to clear her name.
Right from the film's opening sequence, you know you're in for another special screenplay from Aaron Sorkin as Jessica Chastain narrates over the point where Molly Bloom had to give up her skiing career. It's fast-paced and full of a lot of nonsense however, it's the true mark of Sorkin's quality that he can fill it with so much nonsense but still have the audience feeding from the palm of his hand. 

Sorkin's dialogue usually brings out the best in his leads and in Jessica Chastain, Sorkin really does have one of the best leading his film. Chastain has previously proved that she is a force to be reckoned with but this is her finest hour for me, driving Molly's Game forward with such ferocity and composure. It's not only Chastain who gets to shine mind, Idris Elba is as good as he's been in a long time as Molly's defence lawyer, Charlie Jaffey, the scenes the pair share being noticeable high points of the film. There's a host of supporting characters who all add different dimensions to the narrative, Kevin Costner as the authoritative father figure, Brian d'Arcy James as the totally inept poker player Bad Brad and Chris O'Dowd as Douglas Downey, the man who introduced Molly to the mob. 

For a film that's so dialogue heavy, Molly's Game has a hefty runtime of nearly two-and-a-half hours however, thanks to the quickness of the screenplay and the quality of the performances, it's a film that absolutely flies by. Expect this to be a big player in the writing department come awards season.

Verdict: ★★★★


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