"Molly's Game" Betting Against The Patriarchy

3 years ago
08 Dec

Poker world has been waiting for the next "Rounders" since the movie premiere in the late 90's. Poker is a big part of American culture, it seems like everyone and their mother enjoys a weekly home game with friends and it's a shame that a card playing nation failed to produce a higher number of quality motion pictures involving the game.

That being said, "Molly's Game" might prove to be the Christmas present that all poker players were waiting for. The highly anticipated directorial debut of a legendary Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin ("Moneyball", "The Social Network", "The West Wing", "Newsroom") has a stellar cast, story straight from a best selling book, great early reviews and - as a recent Deadline interview with the star of the movie Jessica Chastain revealed - topical political message

Molly Bloom - Victim of The Media

The story of Molly Bloom is a truly fascinating one. While popular media outlets painted her as a "Poker Princess", focusing on her looks and the Hollywood gossip generated by the underground high-stakes game that she was running, the true story that the movie "Molly's Game" aims to portray is about much more than the superficial. Bloom was an extremely talented skier, forced to find another opportunity when the accident crushed her hopes at making the Olympic team. Molly moved to California, found a job as an assistant of a man running underground poker games and quickly became the brains of her own operation that in 2014 made all the tabloids red hot with speculations. 

Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain mentions the stark contrast between Molly Bloom as a person and her representation in the media:

"I judged her. The media tried to convince me who Molly was and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. And then I met her and I was really surprised. She’s not this stereotype. There was a lot more going on. She’s a creation of society. Society values women for their sexual desirability, and she changed everything about herself to try to become successful in an industry dominated by rich and powerful men."

Fighting Patriarchy One Poker Flick at a Time

Aaron Sorokin doesn't shy away from involving politics in his art. In fact, many of his previous works - particularly in the realm of television like "The West Wing" and "Newsroom" - served largely as conduits for political commentary. Jessica Chastain reports that "Molly's Game" won't be any different in that regard. One of the reasons why the actress decided to get involved in the project was the fact that movie will tackle the subject of patriarchy:

"Immediately, it was just Aaron Sorkin. I wanted to work with him because he’s a political filmmaker. He believes all of his stories about justice prevailing against the odds. I’d be happy with a couple scenes in an Aaron Sorkin film. Then I read the story. This man has so much idealism that he decided for his directorial debut, “Let’s talk a little bit about patriarchy.” It was so moving to me because he’s a successful white man in Hollywood. He could have told any story he wanted and everyone would have paid attention. That’s fascinating."

While some players would no doubt prefer the movie to be more poker focused, with Sorkin at the helm this was never truly an option. Besides, art is inherently political simply by virtue of the fact that it's created and consumed by people living in political societies. Recent reports of the rampant sexual harassment in Hollywood are still fresh in people's minds and the fact that "Molly's Game" will tackle the subject of patriarchy, by telling a story of a smart woman thriving in male-dominated fields, will certainly make the movie more relevant and hopefully more memorable than past poker flicks.

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Mateusz has been writing about poker for the better part of the last decade. He's deeply interested in many poker related subjects like psychology, game theory, fitness, nutritional science etc.Read more


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