Molly’s Game is a biographical drama film following the shocking story of a major poker heist. The lead roles are played by superstars Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, but how did the latter perform in the movie, and what was the inspiration behind his character?
With the popularity of online poker always on the rise, more and more people are becoming interested in the story behind the movie. So, let’s take a greater look at this highly-rated movie and Idris Elba’s role in it.
Is Molly’s Game Based on a True Story?
Like other recent Hollywood hits such as Hidden Figures and The Big Short, Molly’s Game is based on a true story. It was inspired by a memoir written by Molly Bloom about her time as an underground poker organizer and dealer for wealthy clients in Los Angeles.
In 2009, Bloom was arrested by federal agents who were investigating her poker games and detained for 20 months. She pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling operation and avoided jail time by agreeing to cooperate with authorities against some of her players; all charges were dropped in 2012 when she was no longer deemed to be a flight risk or a danger to society.
In the movie, Jessica Chastain plays Molly Bloom, and her role in the film quite closely follows what is written in Bloom’s memoir. It has been suggested that some real-life celebs were connected to the heist, and Player X in the movie is thought to be a combination of these.
Who is Idris Elba’s Character Based On?
Idris Elba’s character, Charlie Jaffey, is Molly’s lawyer in the movie but is not strictly based on Molly’s real-life lawyer, Jim Walden. Instead, he was created as a fictional character as the writer and director, Aaron Sorkin, did not want to meet with Walden to ensure facts were accurate from his perspective.
However, there are some elements of Elba’s character that are based on Molly’s true story – she has said so herself. In the movie, we see the lawyer reading Molly’s memoir before taking her on as a client; however, this is inaccurate. The book was actually published after Molly was arrested, meaning it wouldn’t have been possible for her lawyer to base his opinion on her from the book.
How Was Idris Elba’s Performance in Molly’s Game Received?
The movie was directed by Aaron Sorkin (of The Social Network) and has received critical acclaim since its initial release. However, one notable area of acclaim is Idris Elba’s performance as her lawyer, Charlie Jaffey.
There were worries that his character would be overblown or exaggerated, but instead, he remained respectful while also shining at times throughout. While many scenes depict him trying to figure out how to win Molly’s case, other scenes show him quietly asserting himself whenever necessary – and perhaps there are even hints of romance between them here and there!
At any rate, many people were glad that he did not use his force for evil like some lawyers might have done. However, although his character does not take center stage all that often, critics say that both Idris Elba and Aaron Sorkin should be proud of what they have created. Elba himself received three nominations for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Molly’s Game, and the film won awards for screenwriting and editing. Chastain’s performance earned her the title of Best Actress.
Does Idris Elba Like Gambling for Real?
Gambling is a running theme in Molly’s Game, and there’s no shortage of characters involved in the poker heist. But do the stars like Idris Elba actually like gambling?
In this case, it was simply a case of great acting. Elba has stated in interviews that he knows the basics of the game from using apps for fun, but this wasn’t connected to his role in Molly’s Game. In spite of this, it has been said that he understands the appeal of poker and gambling in general, particularly among men.
He’s linked professional players’ ‘poker face’ to acting – the players are trying to convince other players what move to make next with just a look, and this can make the difference between winning and losing.
Chastain states that the appeal of playing Molly came from working with Aaron Sorkin and a fascination with the real-life story, rather than a personal interest in playing poker or other forms of gambling. Although she got into character by observing the underground poker world, she claims to know little about the game and can’t play it well.
If you haven’t already seen Molly’s Game yet, we highly recommend it!
Short film “Perceptions” by Alphonse Menyo to be released Worldwide October 11th on YouTube
The official release of Alphonse’s Menyo internationally recognised short film “Perceptions”, will be available to watch on Youtube on the 11th of October 2023 at 9am GMT.
This is a project where we see Alphonse Menyo wearing different hats; producer, writer, director, and starring as one of the main characters of this short film playing “Adotey” – a boxer and a fisherman from Jamestown with his display of an array of emotions: intense, irritable, happy, jovial. With his direction, the female lead, played by Tatiana Martinez, is believable and relatable.
Martinez makes her debut in this production and she fulfils the character of Melissa Ramos well,
showcasing the antagonist of Ramos despite her affluence. Perceptions sheds light onto two parallel lives of two characters from complete different worlds.
One of them is Melissa Ramos, a young Spanish lady who works with a multinational oil company in the West African country of Ghana, gets all the money she’s ever wanted but still feels unfulfilled. She later meets Adotey, a local fisherman and boxer, and realizes that in order to achieve true happiness in life, she needed to take certain actions.
The short film has gained recognition at various international movie festivals; AFRIFF (Africa International Film Festival), Abuja International Film Festival, Serenity Screening in the UK, the Accra Indie Festival, Real Time International Film Festival and the Ghana Movie Awards.
So far it has been really well received by international audiences who got to witness the story at the various movie festivals. We get to see through the reviews that Alphonse Menyo achieves to transmit the exact message he wanted to transmit to the world: “The dialogue is easy to follow whilst realistic of each character. Scenes are succinct and
informative whist remaining interesting. Off course the main character is the backdrop of Africa, specifically Ghana which is displayed in the beautiful cinematography of wide shots, close ups and bird’s eye views of the coast, businesses and local market”
“Watching perceptions has enriched me just as a good movie should do. Its shows that simplicity brings happiness and joy and that we should always be ready to leave behind what doesn’t make us happy. I truly enjoyed the artwork as the scenes, the soundtrack & the characters make the whole context vibrant and dynamic”.
Follow this link to watch Perceptions short film on 11th October 9am GMT: https://youtu.be/rCB6B3jtJIU
Ghana set the pace again as Ghana Badminton raises Africa’s flag at the World Championships, USA.
In the fantastic city of Spokane, Washington, where the 2023 BWF World Junior Badminton Championship is taking place, Ghana made history and a name for the country, with the teenagers fighting as if their very existence depended on not giving up the events.
The World Championships also serves as an Olympic qualifier for the Paris 2024 global event. Before this, the Ghana Badminton team participated in South Africa, Nigeria events and a National Open last summer.
A 16-man contingent of players and officials led by Ghana’s Badminton President, Yeboah Evans, is all the motivation the players need to self-motivate themselves, chalking the historic most significant achievement in the Mixed team event by any African country in 23 years of the World Championships.
Over 54 countries are in the United States fighting for honours, with Ghana presenting a few players for the tournament but registering gains that can only inspire a more significant achievement sooner than later.
The young players, with some of them travelling outside the country for the first time, are impressing even officials of their opponents, drawing commendations for having a great future ahead towards the 2023 African Games, 2024 Paris Olympics, 2026 Youth Olympics, and other international open and invitational events.
Ghana became the first African Country to have reached the finals of its Mix Team Group, having lost to Norway in the final stage. Ghanaian Players Andy Amofa and Elvis Osei won the Mixed Team Event’s 4th and 5th best players, whilst Moslena Adu placed 10th in the overall player rankings.
Ghana had to settle for second place in the group match, which nonetheless marked a historic achievement. Amofa committed a rare service error but quickly recovered, delivering a cross-court smash to regain the lead at 11-09. In a crucial moment, Amofa surprised the Norway Aldrin NELSON by returning a shuttle that appeared to be heading wide, but the Norway player managed to keep it close to the net. Amofa returned the shuttle and secured the point with a well-executed backflip to the other side of the court, taking an 11-09 lead. Despite Nelson saving two match points, he failed to return a body smash by Amofa near the net. With a final score of 3-0, Ghana lost the last game and handed Norway a winning match, concluding the Ghanaian players one of their career’s most riveting badminton games.
Ghana performed far better than the earlier 2017 World Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and pole position for the 2024 France Olympics Qualification ranking with four other international matches until the deadline of April 28, 2028,
DFMI Business Lab announces filmmaking-participants from across Africa
After receiving a record number of applications for the third edition of the DFMI Business Lab, the Durban FilmMart Institute is pleased to announce 35 participants from 22 countries across the continent.
The selected participants will undergo a 12-week online business development programme aimed at nurturing and empowering producers with the necessary skills to effectively engage in a global market.
“The Lab is now in its third year. We would like to thank DW Akademie for their continued investment into capacity-building on the African continent,” says Magdalene Reddy, director of DFMI. “In addition to providing filmmakers with the expertise to expand their film career, the lab has created a sense of community between the producers inviting them into a peer-to-peer support system where they are free to share opportunities and learnings as they engage in the film industry.”
The Lab will focus on modules such as Financial management, Business management, Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law, Distribution, and coproduction led by film and creative industry professionals from Burkina Faso, Canada, France, Kenya, South Africa, and the USA.
DFMI Business Lab participants:
Abdifatah Abdi (Somalia)
Boi Beatrice Kenneh (Sierra Leone)
Boris Fredy Agblo (Benin)
Chelsea Art (South Africa)
Doreen R. Kilimbe (Tanzania)
Duwayne Murphy (South Africa)
Emil Garuba (Nigeria)
Faith Riyano (Zimbabwe)
Faye Binetou (Senegal)
François Maree (South Africa)
Ghislaine Kanga (Ivory Coast)
Gopalen Parthiben Chellapermal (Mauritius)
Habtamu Mekonen (Ethiopia)
Ian Tarimo (Tanzania)
Ibtissem Labidi (Tunisia)
Khangelani Mtyhalela (South Africa)
Khanyisile Zondi (South Africa)
Lauren Scholtz (South Africa)
Limbani Maxwell Teputepu (Malawi)
Madelize De Lange (South Africa)
Manar El-Zohery (Egypt)
Muhammad Taymour (Egypt)
Muhannad Lamin (Libya)
Naseeba Bagalaaliwo (Uganda)
Ndumiso Gumede (South Africa)
Nduruka Njoroge (Kenya)
Omoyefe Majoroh (Nigeria)
Oueslati Ager (Algeria)
Oularé Momo (Guinea)
Paul Wilo (Zambia)
Pingdewinde Tiemtore (Burkina Faso)
Rugare Ponde (Zimbabwe)
Sally Ngoiri (Kenya)
Timilehin Adewoye (Nigeria)
Zineb Chafchaouni Moussaoui (Morocco)
The programme is presented in partnership with DW Akademie and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The online programme will commence in October 2023.
The Durban FilmMart Institute receives principal funding from the Durban Film Office and the eThekwini Municipality.
Prof. Douglas Boateng-chaired institutions shine at CEO Awards and CIMG Awards
Two institutions under the leadership of Professor Douglas Boateng, the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) and Labadi Beach Hotel, celebrated significant wins at the second edition of the Ghana CEO Vision & Awards ceremony, CIMG Awards and HR Focus Awards 2023.
Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, CEO of MIIF, proudly received the prestigious ‘CEO of the Year’ award in the Minerals category, while David Attu Eduaful, the Managing Director of Labadi Beach Hotel, was honoured with the ‘Excellence in Leadership’ accolade at the Ghana CEO Vision & Awards for skillfully navigating the hospitality giant beyond the challenges of the pandemic.
Labadi Beach Hotel had earlier won the Best HR Management in Hospitality at the HR Focus Awards 2023 and also recently won the CIMG Hospitality Facility of the Year.
Prof. Boateng, speaking about the awards, stressed the importance of good corporate governance. He believed that winning these awards was proof that following ethical and responsible business practices could lead to remarkable success. “These awards are a testament to the power of proper corporate governance and the remarkable outcomes it can achieve,” he said.
Prof. Boateng added that when he was given the mandate the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reminded him that MIIF, especially, was a Ghana and a generational project and not a political party project. To this end, he explained that, there was going to be minimal interference and they have lived up to their promise.
“It is for this reason why we have managed to create the fastest growing sectorial sovereign fund within record time. I am proud of the work we have done so far and I extend a hearty congratulations to the executive management and the other board members of the fund. We shall continue to do what is in the best interest of Ghana and Ghanaians,” he said.
He also went further to laud Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and its Director General, Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang and board chair, Elizabeth Ohene, for empowering the board of Labadi Beach Hotel to function with minimal interference. “This is how institutions are best run. When they are allowed to function properly with good boards and corporate governance principles, they flourish,” he said.
MIIF was established as Ghana’s minerals sovereign fund, with the aim of strategically leveraging the mining sector’s value creation potential for sustainable national development.
Under the tutelage of Prof. Boateng as Chairman and Mr. Koranteng as CEO, MIIF has defied global economic challenges, experiencing rapid growth in just 18 months. Starting at approximately US$125 million in October 2021, when they were appointed, MIIF’s Assets Under Management (AUM) are projected to surpass US$1 billion by January 2024, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing specialized funds during this period.
Prof. Boateng re-emphasized Ghana’s historical significance in West African mining, with the country currently being the leading gold producer on the continent. However, the mining industry had not fully realized its potential to deliver long-term prosperity and opportunities until now.
He was optimistic about the future as MIIF recently announced a US$32.9 million capital investment in Ghana’s first-ever lithium mine, Atlantic Lithium, signalling its commitment to the mining sector’s growth and diversification.
Additionally, MIIF is considering a GH¢300 million investment in the Ada-Songor Salt project operated by Electrochem Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of the McDan Group of Companies, with the potential to become the continent’s largest salt industrial complex.
Labadi Beach Hotel’s resilience and success
Under the guidance of Professor Boateng, Labadi Beach Hotel has continued to thrive despite economic challenges. Earlier this year, the hotel, a key player in the hospitality industry, presented a GH¢10 million dividend to its sole shareholder, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), for the year 2021. It is projected that the hotel shall declare another dividend to the shareholder.
This remarkable achievement followed the unprecedented challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and served as another reason to celebrate Labadi Beach Hotel’s 42-year legacy of providing top-quality services to guests and contributing significantly to Ghana’s tourism sector.
The hotel’s growth is evident, having expanded from its original 104 rooms to now offering 164 rooms, including 2 Presidential Suites, 4 Executive Suites, 4 Superior Suites, 5 Bars, 2 restaurants, and a 900-seater multi-purpose conference and banqueting facilities. The facility also boasts a spa, well-equipped gym, lagoon for fishing, and two luxurious leisure and lap pools set in a tropical landscaped garden overlooking the natural Maale Lagoon.
Prof. Boateng highlighted the significance of Mr. Eduaful’s role as the first indigenous General Manager for the hotel, emphasising, “This demonstrates the potential for success in companies led by Ghanaians and sets an example for other institutions to achieve similar heights.”
Professor Douglas Boateng
Professor Douglas Boateng, Africa’s pioneering Professor Extraordinaire for supply and value chain management at SBL UNISA, is a globally acclaimed expert in procurement, governance, logistics, and industrial engineering within the context of supply and value chain management. Holding numerous qualifications, including a Doctor of Engineering from Warwick and various fellowships from prestigious institutions in the UK and South Africa, he has made remarkable contributions to both academia and the industrial advancement of supply chain management on local and international fronts.
Notably, he received the Platinum Life Time Global Achievers Award in 2016 and a Life Time Achievers Award in 2013 from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. Professor Boateng’s expertise in industrial engineering, procurement, and supply chain management in developing countries earned him a Life Time Achievers Award from CEO Titans Building Nations in 2016. He is widely recognized for his pivotal role in promoting strategic sourcing’s significance in Africa’s long-term industrialization and socio-economic development.
Furthermore, Professor Boateng has been an elected member of the UK’s Institute of Directors for over two decades, lending his expertise in board-level decision-making, accountability, and governance to both local and international organizations and CEOs.