Miss Sloane (2016)

Jessica Chastain powers through John Madden’s political lobbyist thriller Miss Sloane.

Entertaining Miss Sloane

by Alexa Dalby

Miss Sloane

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Jessica Chastain is centre stage throughout in an intense performance as high-powered political lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane. She’s an apparently unsympathetic female character that we don’t often see portrayed. Miss Sloane is a fast-talking, wordy thriller full of what seems like privileged insider information (a debut by British screenwriter Jonathan Perera).

Sloane quits her mainstream job (with Sam Waterson) for a smaller company (owned by Mark Strong) and its gun-control lobby, apparently for reasons of principle. Sloane is focused, steely and, it seems, unstoppable. She pops pills, barely sleeps, has no personal life, pays for sex from a male escort agency (her current allocation being Jake Lacy). It seems she will play any underhand trick she can to win, including exploiting the confidentiality of her employee Esme (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), or even sacrifice herself in the short term in order to achieve her goal in the long term.

There are fascinating insights into the cynicism of the political process and the film makes interesting points about the ongoing contentious and divisive gun-control debate in the US. The contradictory qualities of the central character, the narrative about how a human being gets to be like that carry you along on a remorseless rush of the adrenalin the film generates. It’s enjoyable, entertaining and its resolution and surprises along the way verge on fantasy – though very satisfyingly.

Miss Sloane is released on 12 May 2017 in the UK.

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