Based on the true story of Molly Bloom who almost became an Olympic skier but fell on her time trial to qualify ended up involved in high stakes poker games, going onto running the most exclusive game in the world and therefore a big target for the FBI.
This film turned out to be Cineworld’s 6th Secret Screening for Unlimited Card holders which was a very nice surprise and as usual I failed in trying to guess which film it was going to be. This was actually a fantastic preview as it is not due for UK release until 1st January. Nice to have a proper advance on a film and just a few days or a week before, so thank you Cineworld!
Especially because the film was very good, engaging from start to finish as we are taken on the journey through Molly’s life from the moment she fell when skiing after hitting the stick that was in the snow and how she ended up first in LA and working for Dean. Then invited to take part in the game, running it basically making sure everything was set up and then going on to recruit the clients. Making an unbelievable amount of money in tips, Molly an extremely smart young woman who had plans to go to Law school but was taking a year out soon got sucked in my the money.
As a very clever woman she was picking everything up and sitting in the room whilst the game was going on listening to everything. If she wasn’t sure on a term she would Google it to find out what it meant, meaning that she was building up a lot of information for Poker and would easily be able to run her own game right? Although in theory that would work, she still wanted and needed to keep everything legal to ensure she did not break the law. We are told this story as she attempts to get a lawyer who just so happens to be reading her book about the game. Charlie Jaffey is the man she wanted to represent her, to which he resists at first but then cannot help but want to help out.
The main reason the FBI were so interested was that her New York game linked many members of the Russian mob and they wanted information. Molly was adamant that she had no idea about this, throughout the film I was wondering if we could fully trust her and was on edge wondering if there was going to be a huge twist. That was certainly something that made this film very good you just weren’t sure what the truth was.
Performance wise Jessica Chastain was fantastic in the leading role as Molly and worked so well opposite Idris Elba having some very good exchanges with one another from start to finish. Something that was very impressive and needed in the film. We also get flashbacks to her training and childhood with her father played by Kevin Costner who is one of my favourites while he was not in very much of the film he did steal a scene towards the end.
All in all an impressive film, with an engaging story and high quality performances. I didn’t really have a lot of background knowledge about the film before it started, maybe sometimes that is a good thing? As I certainly enjoyed this one a lot!