Miss Sloane is a political drama/thriller starring Jessica Chastain, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Lithgow, Mark Strong, Alison Pill and Sam Waterston. The film is directed by John Madden, who some may know as the director who made films such as The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015 – click to read our review) or Shakespeare in Love (1998).
Miss Sloane is about the character of Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), who is a political lobbyist and is one of the best and most sought after people in her profession. She works all day and pretty much all night, she knows how do a great job and she knows how to win and does so at almost any cost, even if that cost is at the expense of her personal life. Her new case though may just be one of the toughest though, she’s going up against guns, which if you know anything about American politics, it’s a sensitive and dangerous area to get into. Will she be able to succeed with her task of gun control?
I do love a political drama and am a massive House Of Cards fan. I’m also quite a big fan of The Newsroom, of which both Sam Waterston and Alison Pill starred in while it was on TV. Miss Sloane is kind of almost a mix of those two shows that I love and a few other political films as well. The world of politics is a very high stakes one, people are worked hard, things are fast paced and there is a lot of drama in there. As a film this is really a dialogue heavy drama, it’s not an action film or anything like that, but it does have quite a bit of very intense moments, which for people like myself are almost more exciting than watching an action blockbuster.
Much of the film is a character centric story all around Miss Sloane. She’s an interesting character to watch, she’s ruthless, she gets things done, she has little regard for people around her, she’s just focused on her goals and her work. She’s also a very powerful woman, who knows how to manipulate the world around her and is also always calculating her next move. I love watching films with these types of main characters, it’s like maybe they’re almost a bit of a villain, but really maybe they’re not. I always find it fascinating to see what these types of people get up to and when you put them into a political situation, as Miss Sloane is in, it’s easy for the drama to elevate higher and higher.
I’ve really enjoyed Jessica Chastain in pretty much all of her recent films. She’s a great actress and I haven’t really seen her or can’t remember anything where she was the main lead role in film, but she was excellent in this. I have no complaints about her performance, she really does deliver. Other actors such as Alison Pill and Sam Waterston were also quite good, although most characters actually don’t have that much screen time. Most scenes are with Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane) meeting with people and while many people get a lot of scenes, no one really stood out more than Jessica Chastain did.
The only issue this film may have with a lot of people is that many just can’t sit through a dialogue heavy political thriller. You really do have to pay attention to what’s going on as there’s a lot of small comments or moments to follow and if you’re not focused you can miss them entirely and then not understand something later on. Secondly, this film is pretty heavily focused on the gun debate and some people in America are very sensitive about their guns and may get offended if someone says anything to do with taking them away. Being in Australia it’s not such a big issue and I personally don’t care for guns at all so I quite like the film. As a film it does give a bit of a glimpse into the lives of lobbyists and while it’s probably overly dramatised for entertainment, I do find everything about that world very interesting.
The writing of Miss Sloane and the way the characters words are said as well as the fast pacing to conversations reminds me of many of the things we’ve seen recently from Aaron Sorkin, particularly The Newsroom or The Social Network. However, it’s not written by Sorkin at all and actually comes from Jonathan Perera, of which this is his only film that he’s ever written. It’s a solid first effort, whether or not he’s a Sorkin fan, I don’t know. But I do like what he’s created here.
Overall I found myself really enjoying Miss Sloane at the cinema this week. These political thrillers are a genre of films I have been increasingly starting to like and I feel Miss Sloane was a great addition to that genre and gave me exactly the entertainment experience I was looking for this week. The acting from everyone in this film was great, but it was Jessica Chastain who really stood out and did a phenomenal job with her role as Miss Sloane. The only issues this has is that it may not be a film for everyone, it’s very heavy with politics, the gun debate and it’s also dialogue driven. But if you’re at least a little bit interested in something like this, then it may be worth watching. I certainly quite enjoyed it and recommend watching it.