Molly’s Game review: Aaron Sorkin’s high-stakes poker drama | Films | Entertainment

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She welcomed movie stars, businessmen, stockbrokers and sportsmen to her table. She conducted herself with strict professionalism, never mixing business with pleasure, guarded all her clients’ secrets and made millions for herself along the way.

It all came to a sticky end when the FBI arrested her in a dawn raid in 2013.

Jessica Chastain plays Molly in a film that takes you on a whirlwind tour of these events, haring between past and present and propelled forward by screeds of dense voiceover narration rattled off with machine gun speed.

It is a dynamic, quicksilver insight into a life that feels stranger than fiction. Driven by her tough father Larry (Kevin Costner), Molly was a world-class skier before a freak injury ended her hopes of Olympic glory.

She was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when one job led to another and she began helping her sleazy boss at his weekly poker game.

Molly’s story comes spilling out for lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) when he reluctantly agrees to defend her. It is a tale of enterprise and integrity with Molly in conflict with mean-spirited men trying to thwart her and assert their power.

A great piece of barnstorming storytelling from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin.

(Opens nationwide on January 1.)



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