Molly’s Game (2017) by Aaron Sorkin

This screenplay feels like a transcript of the film. What’s on the page is so what’s on the screen, it feels like Sorkin made the movie before he wrote it. It’s clear, precise, and most of all readable, in a way some writers don’t manage, and some screenplays aren’t. It flows on the page the way people tell their stories. It jumps around. There are digressions but only to clarify something else. His use of voiceover is a marvel. Best of all it doesn’t feel at odds with the story. It is the story, Molly Bloom’s story, told in her voice. I have long considered voiceover a literary affectation. Screenwriters use it when they want to get the writing of a book, and the voice of the original author, into a film. It’s used as a framing device to make the film feel like a book. Sorkin goes beyond that. In his hands it’s a structural element that holds together the multiple strands of the story. A must read for anyone interested in screenwriting.

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Molly’s Game

I love Aaron Sorkin’s writing. Here we get him undiluted by a third party. He gets to the gut-reaching heart of the a character in eloquent style. “Three years therapy in three minutes.” All the rules are broken in an emotional rollercoaster that coalesce into a lesson of triumph over adversity. Stand fast. Hold true. Never surrender.

The Social Network (2010)

THE SOCIAL NETWORK has to be one of the best films of the year. David Fincher is back on form following the ever so slightly melancholic chore that was Benjamin Button. His direction is subtle, even masterful, wise enough to simply get out of the way, and let Aaron Sorkin’s writing shine.

From the opening scene, Sorkin draws you in, leads you through what, in a lesser writer’s hands, might end up looking like a childish squabble.

If you don’t know The Social Network is about the creation of Facebook, and the ensuing fallout. How much of what we see is true is anyone’s guess, but Sorkin doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, allowing the various parties to have their say, even if it contradicts what is being said elsewhere.

He lets you make up your own mind, decide for yourself who is lying, and who is telling the truth. In doing so he manages to make you engage with some of the most unlikeable people you’re ever likely come across. They are elitist self-centred egomaniacs, their narcissism verges on the psychopathic, but Sorkin even manages to make you feel for them.

When the depositions are over, and the lawyers have retired to thrash out the settlement, Zuckerberg retreats into his virtual world, and check his ex’s status on Facebook. It’s hard not to feel something for him at this point, all of his “motivated” behaviour, and all he wants is to be liked by a girl. It’s that or he is dangerous psychopath stalking an ex, you decide.

Interesting, engaging, and definitely worth seeing more than once.

Director: David Fincher
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Production Year: 2010
Rating: 12A
Running Time: 121 minutes

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