In the Dark: Injured skier goes all in as poker hostess

Jessica Chastain (left) plays Molly Bloom in Aaron Sorkin's 'Molly's Game'

‘Molly’s Game’

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba

Directed by: Aaron Sorkin

Rated: R

I challenge any stenographer to keep up with Aaron Sorkin’s dialog. Famous for the rapid-paced ping-pong patter, Sorkin establishes a certain speedy rhythm to his prose that is inimitable, and a bit exacerbating. Applied to television shows like “West Wing” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” it could mean an exciting hour of entertainment. Applied to a two-hour movie like “Social Network,” it could be equally entertaining, and it works for Molly Bloom, too, because Jessica Chastain gets a master’s level degree in Sorkin-speak.

For the first time, Sorkin directs as well as writes in this treatment of poker entrepreneur Molly Bloom, once a U.S. champion and Olympic hopeful freestyle skier whose promising career ends in a death-defying slope accident. With skiing behind her, she puts off law school and moves to Los Angeles where it’s warm and grabs a job working for a sleazy real estate player who also runs a high stakes poker game once a week. Playing hostess at the game, Molly begins to learn the ins and outs of how it all works as she hob nobs with Hollywood actors and L.A. power players...

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