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‘Molly’s Game’ Trailer: Is This How Jessica Chastain Gets Her Best Actress Oscar?

Published on August 16, 2017

Also published on Medium.

I’ve watched the hyperkinetic two-minute trailer for Molly’s Game about four times already. I’m not sure exactly what is going on (Michael Cera is playing himself?). But I know what “from the writer of The Social Network, Steve Jobs, Moneyball and A Few Good Men” means. And if Jessica Chastain plays her cards right around awards season, she just might get that long-awaited Oscar.

Chastain plays Molly Bloom, i.e., “the Poker Princess.” In 2013, this former Olympian skier pled guilty to charges of running underground high-stakes poker games for celebrities, athletes and important men in suits. A year later, she released a tell-all on those poker games. She told all about players such as Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. She was arrested in the middle of the night. In the sneak preview, we see a glimpse of the aftermath (Idris Elba plays a criminal defense lawyer).

Chastain gets to do it all in Molly’s Game — be a tough-minded business woman, run fast and loose with VIPs and maybe even offer up some redemption. And she’s doing all of the above while speaking in rat-a-tat Aaron Sorkin dialogue. (The renowned screenwriter, a star in his own right, also makes his directorial debut here.) Make no mistake: This is a dream role for any actress whose name is not Meryl Streep.

Jessica Chastain Molly's Game

Will we see Chastain on the red carpet again in March?

Chastain, a nominee for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, has got to be considered the front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar as of now. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s only August and most kids aren’t even back to school. But Molly’s Game has the behind-the-scenes pedigree, the fall release date (November 22) and it’s getting a splashy premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival. It means business. Plus, ugh, the competition in the Best Actress category looks slim so far. (Maybe Emma Stone as Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes? Maybe?) Plus, Chastain has done nothing but deliver high-quality performances for close to a decade. She even gave the schlocky horror movie Mama respectability! My money’s on her.

Also published on Medium.