MOVIE REVIEW: Miss Sloane

Political Drama starring Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.  When a Lobbyist in Washington changes companies so that they can get a bill passed through the American system that would impose stricter gun controls she places a big target on her back.  The problem is that Miss Sloane has rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way to get to this point in her career, so there are a lot of daggers out for her already.

There doesn’t seem to be a more divisive topic in America at the moment as gun control.  I know topical comedians in America who have people walking out of their shows the minute they even mention the topic.  Even those comedians who are pro guns have faced harsh criticism for moving slightly in favour of much tighter controls.  This film deals with gun control, feminism, and the complete corruption of the American Political System, so nothing to cause any offense to anyone.

In the film Jessica Chastain plays Miss Sloane, a Lobbyist who works for one of the big companies in Washington.  Known for taking no prisoners, working more than 18 hours a day, and knowing more about her subjects than anyone else in the business.  This is a role that Chastain could play with her eyes closed and yet she gives it everything she’s got.  I love watching her work.  From Zero Dark Thirty to Crimson Peak, I’m going to forget about that awful Snow White and The Huntsman squeal that just bored me to tears, because no one came out of that clean.  Mark Strong plays the head of the new company that takes her on, and it’s nice to see Strong have a better role to play, I have not forgiven him for Grimsby, but I know this man can act and here we see it. 

The whole film is a cross between The West Wing and House of Cards, and I think that’s the problem, it should have been released during the first week of House of Cards new season.  The writing for 95% of the film is just excellent and I understand why the film makers decided to go with that ending, but it felt like a lazy option and a quick wrap up.  The supporting cast, which is filled with performers that you’ll know in one way or another, all do their duty to the best of their ability, though you feel as though a lot of concentration went into Chastain’s role rather than theirs.  That’s not a harsh critique, it’s just a feeling, so don’t get on your Gar trampoline and jump all over him.

If you are a fan of The West Wing, and House of Cards, you’ll find a whole lot of entertainment here to enjoy.  Miss Sloane is an intelligent film that doesn’t preach, and that is a hard thing to do, it doesn’t come down on one side of the gun control argument or the other, it trusts that whatever your feelings on the issue you can make up your own damn mind.  It does point out that the reality of American Politics is that big business controls the people who get elected.  No matter what values that they hold before taking office it’s a self-destructive system that will turn even the most valiant of people.  This is not a fluffy piece of nonsense, there are points here that make sense, and the strange thing is that they do this for both sides of every point that they make.  If you want thoughtless entertainment then you go see Fast 8, you won’t be disappointed, but if you want to think, if you want to see major talent doing what they do best, then Miss Sloane is one of the best acted dramas you’re going to see this year.

Director: John Madden
Writer: Jonathan Perera
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

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