Based on a true story that I previously knew nothing about, this film struck me as a particularly intriguing tale unlike anything I had seen on the screen before. Therefore I have been long awaiting the release of this film to see if it would meet my hopeful, positive expectations. I’m pleased to say that it did and in a way that was both interesting and different.
Synopsis (spoiler free)- Molly Bloom a professional freestyle skier experiences a number of injuries holding her back from competing at the Olympics despite being ranked third best in North America. After one final blow tips the balance she decides to turn her hand to studying law. Before settling down she takes a year out to enjoy life ‘like a young person’ and therefore takes a job as a waitress to cover living costs. Through her job as a waitress she got a second job in an office attending to a self proclaimed ‘star’ who ran a weekly poker game and played amongst other stars. It was from this that she worked her way up to the “Poker Princess” as she became known.
Positives- This film introduced me to a story and sport I knew nothing about and engaged me fully throughout. The different overlapping time periods it worked with gave the impression we were being told stories within other stories which is something unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was well made; slick and didn’t focus on minor points of detail in a way that disengaged the audience bit actually further enhanced the experience of the film. After looking into the story after watching the film I liked that most of the details are true to the actual events that took place which for the majority of the viewing experience came through in this sincere piece. The film had underlying gritty themes that ran alongside the glitz and glamour of the poker buzz that made it a more rounded true reflection of what to expect from such a story and lifestyle. Also I liked that it took its time to tell its story with the 140 minute running time.
Negatives- Generally with this film my adverse thoughts are more minimal. To improve the film I think more could have been done with the interplay between her and her dad because I thought this was some of the best content of the film. However I don’t know necessarily know how this could have been done without taking some artistic license with the truth behind the story. Also I liked the section with the mobster and again felt it was quite short.
Conclusion- I really enjoyed the film much more than I thought I would. Although I appreciate that it is far from perfect the story it told was genuinely fascinating and sometimes strong content mixed with solid film making makes for a great film.
My rating- 8.5/10