Film – Miss Sloane

Film – Miss Sloane

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a lobbyist in Washington DC who is hired to fight a pro-gun organisation. She is the type of character that lives for her work – you know the one; impeccably groomed, high earner, eats late and alone every night and outsources all the mundane tasks in her life.

All I really knew about this film was that if featured one of these strong female characters.

I didn’t know that the person who hires her would be played by Mark Strong and the person she is up against is Sam Waterston. Talking of The Newsroom, there’s also Alison Pill who played the most (only) annoying character in that and who plays a slightly less dippy former colleague here.

It’s one of those where we see the ending first and the work back to see how we got there. Rather like The Newsroom, or its logical predecessor The West Wing, the film pulls out all the bad guys in politics and holds them up under a spotlight for us all to see, before it runs through a character analysis of them.

Made more poignant since the last US election, the film picks at all that is wrong with the American political system, or to a maybe a lesser degree, politics generally. Unable to put her heart into working for the gun lobby her firm wanted to support, Miss Sloane jumps ship to take up an offer to work with an opposing organisation, who are campaigning for changes in gun law. She takes all of her team with her – well the ones that want to dive into the unknown – sets out a clear strategy and goes about her winning ways. But this time her opponents are much tougher. Just as she has knowledge of her former employers, they know how she is wired too.

Miss Sloane uses every bit of tech, favour, knowledge and personnel she can muster in order to win, legal or otherwise, in the main, keeping her colleagues carefully out of the dark side she inhabits. They both fear and admire her in equal measure.

The film maybe went a bit Hollywood in diving into the lead character’s personal life a little more than necessary, after all, she didn’t have much of one. There were still no scenes showing her severe grooming habit but clearly several visits to salons had to be fitted in every month. And who really wears the same lipstick AND full on lip liner combo every single day? But the personal scenes hinted at glint of vulnerability. Does she want to win the case for gun control or for herself? 

You know how we all try to guess the twist in these type of political dramas? I lost count of them in Miss Sloane. I never got close to guessing the twist at the end that bought the story together. It may well have been that I was so enthralled in the story, I never got around to thinking about it, but a fine ending it is.

I enjoyed that strength in the lead, all the performances were great and I am a sucker for films that highlight the twisted other world of politics.

8/10

 

Tags: ,