Movies: Pawn Sacrifice

Going into this movie, I knew only a handful of things about Bobby Fischer. 1. He was a famous chess player. 2. I think he disappeared for some period of time? 3. There had been a movie called Searching for Bobby Fischer that I never saw, but the title is probably what made me think he'd disappeared.

So why watch this movie? Well, I saw the trailer back when I'd gone to see Mr. Holmes and it looked interesting. I mean, who doesn't like watching someone go crazy? That's pretty entertaining, right?

Anyway, if you take this movie as historically accurate, it turns out Bobby Fischer was kind of an asshole. A paranoid asshole, but there you have it. And Tobey Maguire does that pretty well.

I do wish there had been more of Liev Schreiber, who did a great job as Bobby's Russian nemesis Spassky. But then again, this wasn't his story.

Peter Sarsgaard, too, did a fine job as Father Lombardy, struggling to keep Bobby balanced.

And you don't have to know about chess to watch this. I used to play, haven't in years, and never competitively, but even my rusty self didn't need to dust off any old knowledge to follow the story.

In all, it was a good movie. Not thrill-a-minute or anything—I mean, it's chess, after all—but I enjoyed it more than Carol, or even Trumbo. (Maybe I just don't like one-word name movies? I should check into that.)

For what this is (and it's probably a very specific taste), it's a fine movie with solid performances by all involved.

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