Molly’s Game is a recently-released movie based on the real events surrounding aspiring Olympic skier and poker nights organizer, Molly Bloom. To ensure the validity of the facts presented in the movie, debut director Aaron Sorkin worked with her and relied on her written memoir, a book titled “Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World”. This movie is filled with stars; the leading role is played by Jessica Chastain, and others such as Idris Elba, Michael Cera and Kevin Costner make their presence felt throughout. Despite it being Sorkin’s first movie from a director’s perspective, it has received nominations at high-profile events, such as The Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards and The Golden Globes (which also nominated Jessica Chastain for her performance as an actress in a drama film).
Molly Bloom came from a skiing background—constantly surrounded by either coaches or other professionals—and was pushing to become an Olympic skier before eventually walking away from the sport in 2002. One year later, after taking some time off and accepting that her skiing career had come to an end, she found a job as a waitress in a club in Los Angeles. It was in this context that she was introduced to the world of poker after an unsuccessful real estate entrepreneur (who had a side business of organising poker nights for a group of celebrities) employed her as an executive assistant. Initially, she was not so keen on the game, but she quickly learned all there is to know in order to increase her income, which was mainly based on tips from the players. Seeing her improvement—as well as the fact that she was gradually earning more money—her employer, Dean, tries to control her, but he fails to do so and ultimately fires her from the job. Now armed with the knowledge of how to organise such game nights, Molly starts her own business and uses her contacts to gather celebrities around her tables. One of the most notable characters taking part in these events was played by Michael Cera, under the name of “Player X”. In the real world, Cera’s character is based on a collective of Hollywood stars who attended the games, but most of all, the famous Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire.
After a few ups and downs during the game nights, things get out of hand when members of both the mafia and the FBI get involved, definitely complicating the situation for Molly. Without giving spoilers, one could easily say that the plot is as unpredictable as Molly’s road to getting in that position. Although it was recently released, Molly’s Game has already attracted attention. Renowned poker commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton included the movie into their podcast, “Poker In The Ears”. Movie critics have given it generous ratings. The film has earned a 7.2 out of 10 on the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes and a 3 out of 4 from Rolling Stone magazine; it was also appreciated by the critics at The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie portrayed the image of a strong woman in a man’s world and the evolution from a waitress to becoming a host for some of the most exclusive, high-stakes poker nights of that time. It can serve as an inspiration to those who lack the courage to pursue their wildest dreams; the story proves the fact that anything can happen, given the right amount of confidence.