140 minutes long so at least 40 minutes too long… way, way, way too long. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, a sympathetic view of Molly Bloom, a woman who ran an underground poker game for a number of years, first in LA and then in NYC. Starred Jessica Chestain, er, Chastain and her chest and cheekbones, and Kevin Costner as her pushy Jewish dad, Larry, which didn’t work for me. They also invented a gorgeous black lawyer (Idris Elba) who worked pro bono for her, which was weird but par for the course for Hollywood.
Only really interesting part was when the Italian mob beat her up after she rejected their offer of debt collection and protection. Could she really have been that naive? Also interesting was how she recruited players by paying off casino floor men and cocktail hostesses. Some cheap psychobabble about Daddy Issues and needing to have power over powerful men. Why not just say she was greedy, liked partying, and didn’t have the good sense to quit while she was ahead?
I think Sorkin likes these Wayward Jew stories and wants to create his own version of history. Wouldn’t have been terrible if they made it 90 minutes long, but as it is, it’s a red, avoid.
Mick Lasalle gets it right: “Sorkin takes a sordid, morally muddled anecdote and inflates it with an importance it doesn’t deserve and can’t sustain … Sorkin’s default, when in doubt, is to steamroll the audience with dialogue.“