During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Kristin Scott Thomas
Double crosses, adultery, murder, mistaken identity, and revenge ensue when a mysterious power player and his sultry wife hire a disgraced Los Angeles property broker to discreetly market and sell their Malibu villa.
Molly Bloom, a beautiful young Olympic-class skier, ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans, and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. Written by
Idris Elba's character works for the fictional law firm of Gage Whitney. Gage Whitney (sometimes referred to as Gage Whitney Pace) appears multiple times in the works of writer/director Aaron Sorkin, most notably as the law firm where Sam Seyborn was working at before joining the Bartlet Presidential campaign on "The West Wing." The firm is also mentioned in "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "The Newsroom," the two television series created by Sorkin after he left "The West Wing." See more »
During Molly's second visit to Charlie's office, her top switches between being symmetrically positioned on her body to being off the shoulder between shots. See more »
The San Fransisco movie reviewer phrased it very well when he wrote, "at a certain point, everyone watching this movie will ask, 'why should I care about any of this?'" The question hangs in the air very early during the film, and it's never really answered-- at least not in the 1 1/2 hours that I watched it. Yeah, I bailed.
I think that it sits currently at 7.6 on this site and 80% on Rotten Tomatoes because so many people WANT Sorkin's directorial debut to be great... But it's just.... not.
Molly brags about her accomplishments and her intelligence throughout the movie (yes, the braggadocio is boring in itself) , but in the end she just exploited simple concepts from someone who she describes as an "idiot." Alright... So you supposedly put off attending law school at an Ivy League school to put yourself in the feds' cross-hairs with this "idiot's" schemes? Brilliant.
There are also the lacking technical aspects of the editing and camerawork such as the ESPN-like side panels when the guys are playing poker. The minutiae and graphics are mind-numbingly boring to novices and professionals alike. Jessica Chastain does voice over while they play with so much garrulity and monotony. It would have been much easier just to SHOW the game. Instead of, "Max thinks that Jake has a jack, which would give him two of a kind, but Jake is overselling his bluff a bit too much which tipped off Max and made him--" just show it. We can see it: "That dude had a great hand, but he tipped it off, so the other guy folded." Wow. So complicated. It doesn't require paragraphs.
There is also dull legalistic minutiae in which Molly is showcasing her intellect and supposedly correcting her own lawyer in the process. Again, who cares? She didn't want to actually apply that intellect in the way that her lawyer did, so now she must pay millions to him instead. Wow. Brilliant.
The acting is shaky. Jessica Chastain is undeniably sexy, but she has all of the charisma of a DMV worker. For me, she just can't pull off leading lady.
I majored in psychology, so I want to conclude this review by stating that it's ironic that Sorkin focused on the minutiae of poker and the law, but he is apparently lost on the details of my science. At one point when Molly is an adolescent she says to her father that she thinks that Freud was a "moron" and a "quack." Her father bristles at these insults and says something like, "I'M NOT A QUACK." Well, although I respect Freud immensely and most of the theories of modern psychology are derived from his theories, even during the early '90s (when I assume this exchange occurred) few psychologists were heavily invested in the Freudian paradigm. I don't know why so many writers think that psychologists are obsessed with Freudian ideas. Anyway, this film is a sh** show.
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