Interesting enough story that is just absolutely ruined by showy, cliche-riddled writing, murky and dated lighting, way too much voice-over and a cripplingly duration. I smelt a rat the moment her helmet and goggles magically slid up next to her after the ski-accident. 2.5 stars
The thing about Aaron Sorkin-scripted drama is, it's always Aaron Sorkin's film/show first, everyone else's second, and nothing is more evident about that than MOLLY'S GAME; You don't always need Fincher's exquisite lensing or Boyle's energetic editing to make a good Aaron Sorkin film (though those are all a magnificent bonus in itself). You just need an Aaron Sorkin's script.
[That frosted FKA Twig tho!] Sorkin=The Ovid/Dante of Screenwriting. Chastain will give a run for its money to McDormand, Streep, Ronan, Ejogo, Winslet, Mara, Waterston, Portman, Blanchett, Keough, Ridley, Wright, Hoeks, Juri, Armas, Rihanna & Delevingne> long overdue (oh hi Tree of Life) - I reckon this may well be a sort of spiritual successor - character-wise - to that one, here she plays a bawss Mother Nature.
Sorkin's excellent scripting serves him well in his directorial debut as he delivers a fine vehicle for star Jessica Chastain that plays to her strengths. Technically the film is well edited and designed with impressive camerawork from Charlotte Christensen. In the end the film succeeds on the power of its story and framework and the dedicated turn by Chastain.
I'm warming to the star persona of Jessica Chastain. Aaron Sorkin's writer-director credentials have brought out scintillating nuances in characterisation and utilises the strengths of her presence on screen. The exploration of gender politics takes on a new variable. This is not simply a battle of the sexes rendition; contrasting traits of alpha and beta men are explored revealing new layers in the social discourse.
Sorkin has always struck me as a writer whose highs are counterbalanced by lamentable lows (often within the same work). The highs here are intoxicating. We often hear voice-over denigrated as the lazy writer's easy out, but whilst Chastain's Molly remains the organizing intelligence of the film proper, MOLLY'S GAME is superlative. When the film is handed over to lengthy patches of dialogue, however, things get iffy.
There is one common trait almost all gambling dramas share: they make the audience want to be the protagonist for the first half of the film only to retain roughly 1/3 of the same people by the time the credits roll. "Molly's Game" is one of the most compelling films of the genre since Martin Scorsese's "Casino." Forget shooting and scoring, Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut is the equivalent of a triple-double.
Featuring a thunderous Jessica Chastain in what might be the crowning achievement of her career, the film also marks Aaron Sorkin’s promising directorial debut, and maintains a brisk pace throughout its almost two and a half hours long runtime. Dynamically edited and featuring the writer’s trademark (rapid-fire exchanges), Molly’s Game is a consistently compelling film about the pursuance of excellence.