Aaron Sorkin: Molly's Game is Not a Poker Movie

1 year ago
Aaron Sorkin: Molly's Game is Not a Poker Movie
30 Aug

Quality movies centered around the game of poker are hard to come by, and for those who may be anxiously awaiting the release of "Molly's Game" in hopes that the film might be included in that category are in for a disappointment.

So said Molly's Game writer/director Aaron Sorkin in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.

A prolific screenwriter who has entertained moviegoers the world over with the likes of "A Few Good Men," "Moneyball," and "The Social Network," Sorkin makes his directorial debut in Molly's Game and insists that poker is not the main storyline.

"If you’re a poker player, you’ll enjoy the poker scenes - but it’s not a poker movie," Sorkin stated. "We never care who wins or loses. The movie is about her [Molly Bloom] and what happened to her."

What happened, as most know by now, is that Bloom made a fortune by hosting and raking high stakes poker games frequented by A-list movie stars like Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon, and other wealthy celebrities. That is, until she made the mistake of allowing Russian mafia members to be seated at her games, which drew the attention of the feds and led to the game getting busted.

Life's Twists and Turns

What many perhaps don't know is that Bloom was a talented downhill skier who nearly made the US Olympic team. She was also a prospective Ivy League law student who took some time away from her studies to work in L.A. where her position as an office assistant included running a poker game for her boss.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“I saw her as a very unique movie heroine and thought there was an interesting way to tell her story,” Sorkin said.

Sure, it sounds interesting enough, but for fans of poker movies, not exactly what we're clamoring for since the film is more about Molly's life than it is about poker and the stars who played in the high stakes games that she hosted. In fact, there are no characters that play Damon or Maguire. The poker players in the film are all "a composite of some kind" without their true identities ever revealed.

"She [Molly] refuses to dish on all of the famous and important people whose secret that she knows .... for either money or her own freedom," Sorkin explained. "So, if she’s going to refuse to do it, then certainly the movie has to."

Molly's Game is set for cinematic release on November 22 and stars Jessica Chastain as Molly, Kevin Costner as her father, and Idris Elba as her attorney. Those two relationships are key to the story.

Ho-hum. Molly's Game is not exactly on my list of must-see movies. My idea for a good poker movie is about a female poker player who performs sexual favors in order to raise enough money for tournament buy-ins.

My main character eventually parlays turning tricks into a bunch of poker championships, including the WSOP Main Event. After being feted as a poker star and champion, admiration turns to disgust when word gets out about her sordid past.

Are you listening Hollywood?

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Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more


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