Directed by John Madden and starring a bevy of talented actors headlined by Jessica Chastain Miss Sloane is a film about lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane. As the film opens we see that Sloane is being probed for bribing a senior senator with a paid holiday in Indonesia to overturn a bill opposing reducing taxes on imported palm oil for Asian governments. The film then goes back and forth between this scene and 3 months prior to tell the story of an important bill that deals with gun possession that many people were involved in and how Miss Sloane herself factors into it.
Miss Sloane is a fascinating film about the use and more importantly misuse of power in the political landscape and to swim with sharks you may need a shark on your side. And this is who Miss Sloane is, she is a tremendous presence and this is thanks to a fantastic script and Jessica Chastain’s wonderful acting. And that’s what makes Miss Sloane such a fun film, the character of Elizabeth Sloane is devilishly immoral and watching her wield these powers to help the good guys is crazy and enticing to watch.
Chastain is also surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast with great performances from Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michael Stuhlbarg to name some of the highlights. Gugu is a particular highlight with her character going through a tremendous journey throughout the film. There’s a lot of energy in each scene thanks to the ferocity of the characters as they wage a war for this exceptional bill. If you’re a fan of House of Cards and The Newsroom and are looking for something akin to that style of suave and verbal back and forth then Miss Sloane is right up your alley.
Miss Sloane is also oozing with style, from the sleek cinematography that makes each scene pop with visceral emotion to Miss Sloane herself dressing to impress while dressing down her opposition this film is a treat to watch. John Maddens use of time jumps from the courtroom to 3 months prior is a brilliant way to keep the audience guessing as to how Sloane ended up in a situation so perilous for her. There was an excellent sense of tension as the pieces slowly started to fall into place giving the full scope of Sloane’s machiavellian scheme.
Now there are problems with Miss Sloane but these are mere nitpicks, in my opinion, The first and second acts of the film are strong and move at an impressive pace, allowing the audience to take in every verbal duel Sloane dishes out. Sadly as the third act begins the film slows down and loses the vigour it previously earned in the film, as well as this some of the originality of the screenplay is lost when the film begins to show signs of predictability. Thankfully there’s a stunning payoff at the end of the film that brings every piece of the film together.
Miss Sloane is a brilliant film, filled with sensational dialogue, terrific characters and a backdrop that will attract everyone to the cinema to revel in the devilish nature of its lead character.