Opening on Christmas Day is a brightly wrapped gift from writer/director Aaron Sorkin, based on the autobiographical book by Molly Bloom, who recounts her experiences as an Olympic-class skier, director of an exclusive high-stakes poker game and then a target for 17 FBI agents with automatic weapons. At least she recruits one ally, a criminal defense lawyer. We get to watch this R-rated drama unfold in fascinating detail.
Part of Sorkin's cast:
* Jessica Chastain ("The Zookeeper's Wife") Molly is a winner because her father won't accept any less. It's clear that she is the smartest person in the room.
* Jeremy Strong ("Masters of Sex") Dean is her first boss. Acid-tongued, insulting and demeaning, he will never win a Mr. Congeniality contest.
* Idris Elba ("Luther") Attorney Charlie reluctantly steps up to the plate; the FBI has a pretty solid case, so he can only hope her book sells well. Eventually, he comes to think that her face belongs on a box of Wheaties.
* Kevin Costner ("Hidden Figures") Larry is worried about Molly because he knows his daughter knows more than she knows she knows.
* Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") Player X has a lot more invested than I expected.
* Graham Greene ("Longmire" and "Maverick") Judge Foxman is in charge. Do NOT miss his summation!
This R-rated drama has excitement, humor, and Sorkin's patented rapid-fire dialog......but it also has drugs and abrupt violence (no blowie uppie stuff). Molly's clothes are outstanding enough that her costume designer Susan Lyall should get special mention. The real Molly Bloom claims she never wore the same outfit twice, so check out those clothes!
Naturally we like to guess the names of those high-stakes gamblers because her "guests" include sports figures, movie stars, Hollywood movers and shakers, professionals from Jersey, and the Russian mob. This of course is the crux of the problem, the FBI wants their names, too.
BTW, I was grateful for the captions on the DVD. Sorkin wrote the script and I didn't want to miss one word.