Miss Sloane (2016, John Madden) Review
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Miss Sloane deals with the world of politics and corruption, where stakes are high and money is more important than anything else in the world. Elizabeth Sloane, a formidable lobbyist in D.C. mainly known for her cunning work and successful track record, has been sought after for the Heaton-Harris Bill which revolves around the gun-control legislation. Once she accepts the role, she finds out that she may be against the most powerful opponent of her career, realizing that winning may not come as easy as it seems.
Everyone who talks about this film seems to focus on two highlights: the gun control legislation, and Jessica Chastain. I’ll start with the latter. Chastain’s performance is indeed nuclear, and sadly not addressed by the Academy for at least a nomination. She has plenty of dialogue, and she delivers it with enticing confidence that marks her as a strong female character, in spite of some of her actions throughout the film. This is strengthened by the fantastic screenplay; some of the political jargon did go over my head, but most of what I understood were written well with such snarky wittiness that it’s hard not to laugh at parts. This being said, the rest of the cast wasn’t bad at all. Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Alison Pill were stellar supporting characters, but I wanted to see more from the male side of the cast. This may be a feminist film, with female characters delivering some of the best sentiments, but it would’ve been better to get a little mix of both.
On top of the great performances, there is a worthy plot beneath. This film gives the viewers a fascinating insight into the world of politics, not only tackling the issue of guns in the US, but also with how laws are passed through in the government. This film made me more interested in lobbyists than any other film I’ve seen with the same role. Furthermore, I love how grey the film deals with the gun control debate. It does not treat guns as neither fully beneficial nor bad, but it looks into the topic with both sides, seeing as how politicians today mainly argue on the pro-gun side of the debate (to only usually appease their viewers to garner more votes). This is a film that mirrors modern society by its issues as well as being a great contrast strengthened by feminism, a strong heroine, and a stellar supporting cast of characters. It can also be seen as a cautionary tale of what’s to come, events of the plot eerily imitating what’s happening in real life, maybe only with a bit more of unexpected drama.
Miss Sloane is terribly one of the best overlooked films of 2016. Jessica Chastain as a lobbyist is electric, her performance magnetic enough to be ceaselessly entertaining, in spite of her dipping in and out of the banal reality of politics at times. It is a very relevant political thriller, and it’s sad to see this under-perform at the box office because of the controversial election period this was released in and the poor marketing it has garnered throughout the US. People criticize it since it is openly against gun control, but they might not have watched it because Miss Sloane really is all about the rotten politicians running the Senate today. The gun control debate is just a subplot, the film itself tackling much needed political issues that other films are afraid to venture into. This film has guts. Jessica Chastain has guts. I highly admire them for it.