Going All In - Molly's Game (REVIEW)
My favorite genres are ones with characters who are wildly ambitious and go on to be wildly and dangerously successful. Aaron Sorkin is also one of my favorite writers so to have something like Molly's Game being written and directed by Sorkin, my hopes were very high going in. Sorkin is known for his fast paced, witty dialogue that have a snap and an edge to them and having him behind the camera allows for every beat to be dolled out precisely as he envisions it. However with this film he has very much stepped back from the “Sorkin-isims” that earned him his name as one of the best working in Hollywood. This was a much more straight forward film than I was hoping for but as such it is still a fairly good one.
The story of Molly Bloom is ripe with drama and is told relatively well if a bit clunky in it's time jumping. I felt like the story wouldn't so much naturally shift from beat to beat as just stop and start, giving the story a lack of flow. There were also some times during poker scenes, the cuts could have been handled better as they came a little too fast and furious for my liking. That said some of the best scenes involved the breakdown of poker scenes as they played out. I was utterly rivetted by those moments and watching these high stakes gamblers just blow hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single hand was as entertaining as any action scene. Molly did what no one else was doing, give men the chance to bet huge sums of money, to win and lose big on a regular basis. That is what I want to see in films like this, extraordinary circumstances that actually happened played for the drama that it is.
The other drawback to the film was what I felt was a heavy reliance of narration. There were certainly times where the information could have been conveyed without it but chose to anyway and that became a bit of a crutch to lean on. When she was our commentator it worked brilliantly, adding a level of excitement to the scenes, when it was more about how she felt internally it didn't land as well. The supporting cast was solid, no one person really out shined Molly but they lent color to the proceedings as best they could getting big and smaller actors to play the parts of celebrities who's names had been changed and obviously could not be in the film. Michael Cera is the biggest actor of that group and he plays a card shark of sorts and sells it so well that it made me feel like I was seeing what Cera is really like under the cover of darkness
This was not the best Sorkin has to offer. It is the least “Sorkin” film I've seen and honestly I think in a movie like this it could have absolutely used more of it. As it is we get a mostly well told story about a woman who took what the boys were doing and turned it into something that only powerful men would want to play. This allowed her to strike it rich all while trying to keep her integrity in tact..
A musical that sing mostly sour notes