Molly Bloom was an accomplished skier who retired from that profession due to a bad accident and probably other factors. She eventually became involved in running legal poker games, which then led her into contact with some rather iffy characters and perhaps some laws were broken. Her story appears in her own memoir, Molly’s Game [Movie Tie-in]: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, and was recently adapted to a movie directed by Aaron Sorkin. The movie is Molly’s Game, and below is an interview with Sorkin about about the movie and related topics.
Bloom’s lawyer in the movie is a great character, and I have no idea how much like the actual lawyer he is. But Jim Walden, the actual original lawyer, was involved with the Olympic doping scandal, and served in the US Justice Department under Bill Clinton and George w. Bush.
Meanwhile, one of the prosecutors in the case that developed against Molly Bloom was the now very famous VOT, Preet Bharara. So that’s interesting too.
Molly Bloom is played by Jessica Chastain, who early in her career was signed to a talent holding deal by John Wells. Sorkin and/or West Wing fans will find that interesting. She also played a role in Law and Order. As has every single actor. Hell, I think I was in an episode once, and I’m not even an actor.
Anyway, Aaron Sorkin, creator of West Wing, Sports Night, and The Newsroom has written some very impressive movie screenplays, including for Steve Jobs, The Social Network, and A Few Good Men. But Molly’s Game is Sorkin’s first and so far only direction job for a movie. (He also wrote that screenplay.)
I really enjoyed the movie. Sorkin is a sports fan, and I am not, but I find sports interesting. So, I enjoy seeing what Sorkin does with sports. Obviously he had a whole TV series on it. In Molly’s game, the opening setup and first several scenes are set in the world of Olympic skiing. His context building and nuance is very entertaining.
From what I’ve read (mainly in Wikipedia and similar sources) it looks like Molly’s Game, the movie, is as close to the real life story as movies ever get. There is conflation and obscuring of individual identities, for obvious reasons. Only one unbelievable thing happens, when Molly’s Father and she bump into each other in New York City at a particularly opportune moment. (Not to say that didn’t happen … but I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen.)
I usually don’t do movie reviews, but I’m a Sorkin fan. Well, actually if I reviewed every movie I saw you would see very few reviews because I never get to watch movies. In any event, I enjoyed this, and I highly recommend it. Clearly, it has not gotten the attention it deserves.
By the way, if what I hear on the street is true about the characters in this movie, there is a particular Hollywood actor that I don’t want to watch in a movie ever again.
And now the interview: