Writer-director Aaron Sorkin is a master at writing movies about specific subject matters that could alienate an audience. For example, he wrote The Social Network, a film about the birth of an iconic website, which featured enough tech-speak to scare off a lot of computer-illiterate viewers. He also wrote Moneyball, a film about baseball — and not just baseball, but the numbers BEHIND baseball. That’s literally a niche within a niche there.
In both of those instances, he managed to make the films accessible to mainstream audiences. He surrounded the subject matter with real primal, understandable stakes and goals, and populated the worlds with entertaining characters. It’s because of this reason that, going into his directorial debut, Molly’s Game, I wasn’t too worried about the fact that I don’t give two s**ts about poker. Luckily for me, it doesn’t sound like it matters, as Sorkin revealed to CinemaBlend, the movie isn’t really about poker.
“This isn’t a poker movie. There is no scene in the movie in which we care who wins or loses a hand. In fact, there’s only one scene where we dramatize an entire hand. It’s when Bill Camp’s character Harlan Eustis goes on full-tilt. So what I knew what I wanted to do with the poker sequences, because anytime I stumbled across poker on ESPN or something, I find it to be the world’s worst spectator sport. It’s not very interesting to watch. It’s not very exciting. I wanted to set up micro shots. Shards of poker games. Chips, money, cards, decks being cut, cards being shuffled, ice going into glasses, cigarettes being lit, more money, more cards, folding, raising, that kind of thing. I wanted a thousand of those shots to be able to build those poker scenes and make them exciting and always make them ultimately anchored by, it’s not about the poker game, it’s about Molly watching the poker game.”
So if you’re going into this film, hoping to get a rundown of just how the pros take on a game of poker, this doesn’t look like it’ll be the movie for you. Like a lot of his other work, it’s all about the stakes surrounding the game and the characters involved.
Does this make you want to see Molly’s Game more or less than you did before checking out his comments? Let us know down below!
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