“Molly’s Game” is based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). She runs a high-stakes poker game frequented by A-list celebrities and other recognizable faces, an endeavor which eventually leads to her arrest.
Unlike the memoir upon which the movie is based, the film refrains from naming some of the celebrities involved, choosing instead to keep the focus solely on Molly and her…ethics? Her illegal activities didn’t begin until relatively late in the game’s run and writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s point here is that she refused to give up the names of the players to make a deal for herself. Is that truly enough to declare Molly an example of integrity in light of her other actions? Possibly, though it seems that the real winner in “Molly’s Game” is the actual Molly Bloom herself.
Though her arrest led to restitution and fines, rather than jail time, even her attempt at a memoir didn’t help her recoup a significant amount of money. By refusing to give up the names from the game–the ones that were published came from another player–her advance was lower than it could have been. When the book came out in 2014, it didn’t do particularly well (though of course now it’s in the midst of a resurgence). Molly Bloom had nothing. Of particular significance, too, is that the movie makes a point of Molly explaining she could have sold the rights to her life for a movie anytime, but that she wanted more control. It’s meant as yet another example of Molly’s virtue. Think about the timeline, though. When the film came out in 2017, it was only three years after her book. The amount of time she waited for that “right moment” wasn’t as significant as Sorkin would have us believe.
So, the real winner in this high stakes game is Molly Bloom. With can-do-no-wrong Jessica Chastain portraying her on-screen, she’s suddenly a victim, a go-getter, a successful business owner–and, above all, an honorable scapegoat.
That said, aside from the film’s questionable morals lesson, it’s well-made and well-acted. For more about “Molly’s Game”, take a look below: