Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game, has been causing quite a stir in the movie industry and we decided to take a closer look at why that is.
Here on Small Screen we recently reviewed Molly’s Game, the directorial debut of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Apart from its gripping dialogue, Jessica Chastain’s powerful performance, and Sorkin’s impressive directorial choices, the movie gives audiences a glimpse of the clandestine gaming scene in LA during the early 2000s. The film has been causing a stir in the film industry and here a few points that can be learned from it.
The casino-genre in film may be making a comeback
There are really only a handful of casino-themed films that have captured the imagination of audiences to become both commercial and critical successes. From Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995), Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans Trilogy (2001, 2004, 2007), to Todd Phillips’The Hangover(2009), it can be argued that there are only a few great films. In recent years the output of the genre has been poor. However, what Molly’s Game has done is breathed in life into a genre that’s in desperate need of a revival. It’s a film that works on many levels, and Vanity Fair couldn’t agree more: “Molly’s Game is brash but eloquent. It’s soupy and overwrought, but only in the best Sorkin way. It’s a movie that revels in a snappy, smart polish that perhaps only Hollywood can create.”
Hollywood needs more stories about strong-willed female characters
The film industry is changing in Hollywood for the better. More leading roles are going to actresses, and Molly’s Game is leading the charge through showcasing Chastain’s remarkable talents. In their movie review, Variety applauds Chastain not only for her close-to-perfect performance, but the implications that her portrayal means for the industry: “Molly’s Game is Chastain’s movie, and she’s demonstrating once again what we’ve seen in everything from Zero Dark Thirty to A Most Violent Year. No matter how powerful the men around her, Chastain is perfectly capable of being in control – and that’s not to be taken lightly in an industry that provides an alarming deficit of stand-their-ground female role models (even those who are technically breaking the law).”
As the climate of the whole entertainment industry is moving in a more positive and fair direction, fans and film critics all over the globe shouldn’t be surprised to see more movies featuring strong female leads.
Talented screenwriters can make fine directors
Among film fans and pundits, there’s always been a vote of confidence when a script has been penned by marvellous word-smith Aaron Sorkin. His characters are known to be highly intelligent and articulate, and the words they deliver are, more often than not, riveting. Many have been waiting for Sorkin to move from the writer’s room into the director’s chair, and with his first outing, the man behind The West Wing, The Newsroom, and The Social Network didn’t disappoint.
The Guardian underscores that Sorkin more than sufficiently fulfils both roles of writer-director: “Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin lets rip with another marathon-sprint of exhausting and exhilarating and exasperating dialogue, in the process switching up his game to hyphenate status, and making a very stylish debut as director.”
Sorkin will be serving as a beacon of hope for many writers in the industry who are looking to follow in his footsteps.
The casino scene is evolving
Outside of the film industry, Molly’s Game also shows how far the gaming scene has evolved. During the early 2000s, when the film is set, poker still had the reputation of being a closed-off society. Today, the industry has completely opened up with the evolution of online gaming. A Huffington Post report detailed how casinos are losing their market share to online games, with some casinos in the U.S. losing up to 7.5% of revenue. In the UK, the digital gaming industry is continuously expanding to adapt to the habits of new customers.
Foxy Television developed by the team behind Foxy Bingo, features online video content that gaming fans can use to stay entertained and kept informed of the gaming outlet’s latest news and deals. This online television channel proves that gamers of today are not only technologically-savvy, but the majority of them also use and favour their mobile phones to access traditional gaming portals. In many ways, Molly’s Game is a nostalgic look at how the industry used to operate before it became heavily regulated, and shifted to the digital realm.
While it may not be scooping up awards, Molly’s Game has made an impact both on the film industry and audiences across the globe. The only hope is that Hollywood continues to make films that give strong roles to women and provide an entertaining look at how society is changing.