The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.
As a young and powerful athlete who grows up under the close scrutiny of an unrelenting dad-coach Larry Bloom (Kevin Costner), Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) feels that she can never live up to her father’s high standards and extreme expectations. While his main goal is to support her, he repeatedly pushes her over the top in his unyielding attempt to prove her greatness. His greatest failure is making her realize, despite his style of encouragement, that she is enough by consistently showing her the same love she saw extended to her male siblings.
Jessica Chastain is treacherous in her role as Molly Bloom, the highly intelligent former Olympic-trained skier who at a stunning twenty-six years of age, parlayed the aftermath of a career-changing accident into a lucrative cash cow. Not only is she incredible and defiant, but she becomes a game changer in her role as a poker dominatrix, luring wealthy businessmen into her high-stakes poker game. The position which was previously dominated by males, allowed her to join, for a decade, an exclusive culture that exposed the habits of the quirky elite who put it all the line for a night of preemptive control. Equally formidable is Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who as a criminal defense attorney tries to protect her from the Russian mob who wants her dead and the authorities who want her behind bars. After she gets in way over her head, Jaffey finds it intriguing and polarizing as he ends up requestioning every tactic he has learned throughout his legal career in order to protect his client from her own downward spiraling and self-imposed destruction.
Aaron Sorkin, in his directorial debut, has done an amazing job with his selection of actors who truly compliment one another and character development, which is vital in bringing the world of high-stakes poker and its players to the forefront. This true story of Molly Bloom exposes the stark reality of sexism and classism with enough drama and diversion to make for an entertaining and eye-opening piece of work. Whether you’re in for a piece of the poker action or a cheerleader for the young woman who held the world at bay while she conquered her fears and dealt with her own misguided shortcomings, it’s a winning combination that has already scored Golden Globe nominations. It’s a must-see for Chastain, Elba, and Costner fans who may have forgotten each of their contributions to classically overstated sexiness which oozes over the screen, one precarious shot at a time.
In theaters Friday, January 5th