On April 19, Le Grand jeu will leave the Prime Video platform. So you only have a few days left to discover this poker film worn by Oscar winner Jessica Chastain and inspired by an incredible true story!
In 2018, Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter for The Social Network, embarked on directing and offered Jessica Chastain, who recently won an Oscar for her performance in In the Eyes of Tammy Faye, an exciting role. That of Molly Bloom, a gifted young woman who has become the queen of a gigantic underground gambling empire in Hollywood!
Arrived in Los Angeles in 2004, she began as a simple assistant and supported her boss who gathered poker players every week around clandestine games. Unceremoniously fired, she decides to set up her own circle: the entry bet will be $250,000…
Very quickly, Hollywood stars, millionaires and great sportsmen flocked. The success is immediate and dizzying. Cornered by FBI agents determined to bring her down, threatened by the Russian mafia determined to take control of her business, and harassed by celebrities worried that she will betray them, Molly Bloom finds herself caught in the crossfire.
A STUNNING TRUE STORY
The Great Game is one of those films that draws its inspiration from mind-blowing true stories. Here, it’s about the career of Molly Bloom, famous for having organized numerous illegal poker parties, notably bringing together the Hollywood jet set.
Born to a psychologist mother and a ski instructor father, the young woman joined the American national ski team at the age of 21. She then studied at the University of Colorado where she majored in political science. In 2003, she went to Los Angeles and became the assistant of a real estate agent who organized private poker games himself. It was then that she decided to become her own boss by setting up a network of poker rooms. The latter will become one of the most prestigious in the world, bringing in 4 million dollars a year.
THE QUEEN OF CLANDESTINE POKER
These poker games had brought together several very rich people and game lovers, such as Texan billionaires, New York mobsters or well-known actors. Among the latter, there was Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon or even Macaulay Culkin.
For the record, the best player was Maguire. The former Spider-Man even managed the feat of being above Affleck, who had nevertheless won the California State Championship in 2004.
THE RISE AND THE FALL
If these parties were a phenomenal success, things quickly went wrong for Bloom. The FBI began to take an interest in his case, opening an investigation. Once the evidence was gathered, the organization set up raids on various locations in New York where parties were taking place. The Feds also arrested several players who, most of the time, pleaded guilty and received heavy fines.
Bloom, meanwhile, also managed to avoid prison by being given a suspended sentence. In its best seller The Big Game: Memoirs of a Fallen Poker Queenshe returned to her career and more particularly to her experience in the midst of these clandestine parties.
AARON SORKIN TAKES ON THE PROJECT
The genesis of the film The Great Game, which is adapted from his story, began even before Bloom understood that the end of his reign had come. While running her illegal gambling den in a suite in Manhattan’s Plaza, she met Leopoldo Gout at a party. The producer, impressed by his journey, then introduced Bloom to his publisher, who obtained a publishing contract.
At the end of her trial, Bloom, supported by Gout, circulated the book in Hollywood. Things came to fruition when producer Mark Gordon learned that director Aaron Sorkin was also reading the book. He then contacted him and offered to work on this project.
Finally, note that initially, Sorkin had some reservations about the idea of adapting Bloom’s book for the big screen. The reason ? The identity of the players who had frequented his circle. “I know some of the people featured in the book and have worked with a few of them. And there are others I would love to work with. There are also two friends of mine,” Sorkin said. “I refuse to make a film that gossips about them, or even about anyone for that matter.”
The director then took care to rewrite the secondary characters in order to preserve the anonymity of the card-loving stars.
JESSICA CHASTAIN ON THE MIC FOR THE BIG GAME