Rating: R, Time: 2hr 20min, Director: Aaron Sorkin, Cast on IMDb
So how does the movie compare to the book?
I think if you want the balls to the wall detail by detail, the book would be better. Some critics are saying the movie is better since they sum up some of the detail of the games quickly, but they only have 2 hours, so that is understandable. The book is definitely a page turner and you likely get a way better view of the lifestyle of the high rollers and high stakes than the movie can portray. The interesting part is the real author hides the identities of most of her clientele from coming to light. Why would she do this to risk going to jail?
What did you think of the father's role played by Kevin Costner?
I think I liked the idea that Molly starts out as an aspiring possible Olympic downhill skiier that loses her shot at the Olympics due to a small shrub on the course. There is a real density to the character in that he is impure in his marital status, but not clear at all in the beginning of the movie. I would say they talk about the infidelity near the end of the movie, but it would have been much better to have used disjointed time shots with flashbacks that Molly cannot make out until she gets back on the ice. Another part of the family part is that we don't get the focus that Molly was actually competing with her other brothers for acceptance. Again, this could have taken maybe 5 minutes of film and a few flashes here and there to pull in the family drama that is really her lifelong inspiration. Another part we don't get to witness is the impact on her family post trial, which may have been interesting to see how the family tried to warn her, then get embarrassed and later rally to her side.
In real life Molly played with Toby Maguire, Ben Affleck and other celebrities while the game was in Hollywood. Who do you think the player X was? Why is she protective of the names?
Just based on the timing of the games in real life and the status of the celebs playing at the time, I think it was Toby Macguire, although who knows, maybe there was a Weinstein in there intimidating the real life Molly and they pulled that out. This is only is she had wanted to be an actress and not a gambling hall owner. I think she probably realized her fortee was poker games and not likely acting, since she didn't try out for the poker actress part. I am taking a guess that she tried to maintain as far off image from the mafia (that played in the NYC games) to keep from being killed after the case closed. The mafia does tend to take hits out regularly on snitches, so that was a huge motivator in my mind otherwise why risk getting the prosecution of going to prison? It also leads to a huge interest in the book and now movie since we will never know.
What did you think of the law suit against Molly?
Personally, I think I would have shot these scenes differently. The acting is great between the actors, but the story is a bit thin on how the case comes about, why he decides to help her out and how fast the case goes to court. The director blends the before and after the case into the flashback sequences. I kind of like this approach as you get to some of the details of the case, but on the other hand, you feel as though she is already sentenced and we get to live out part of the high life. Personally, I would have just shot the film in natural progression. It would get a chance to see why Molly is so defensive and build up to the excitement of how she gets caught. By intersplicing the time frames, that tension buildup is completely lost. Character is built over time, so by showing her at the end first, you don't really get her character reaction as well as if we saw it in the last third. Another huge plus to the natural sequence, is you can show her challenge to get a lawyer, the lawyer's ethics and why he decides to take the case much stronger.
Have you done any art with a female lead?
Yes, I have. I have covered the Hunger Games with the story of a girl forced to volunteer to save her sister in a fight to the death game hosted by a corrupt Capital. In my painting, I have the real life connections to existing companies that represent a kind of monopoly power over current governments and real governments abusing power such as in China or Iran. The movie and painting have similar restrictions women are forced to play in patrimonial societies like seen in the underground poker games of Hollywood and Wall Street high rollers.
May the Odds be Ever in your Favor - 24x48 inches
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