Jessica Chastain captivates as the fast-talking, ruthless and brilliant Miss Sloane, a political lobbyist who will go above and well beyond the line to do the only thing that seemingly drives her: winning.
After an opening statement to camera in which the character explains political lobbying is all about foresight and anticipating an opponent’s moves, the scene quickly shifts to a senate hearing. Miss Sloane is under fire from Congressman Sperling (John Lithgow) pertaining to her disregard for ethical law when securing her win against a bill that saw the environmentally destructive palm oil kept on American shelves with no consequence.
Specialist political lobbying has by and large retained a relatively low profile in American film. Sponsored by campaign groups, lobbyists are employed to shift the tide and win votes in the senate, often by any means necessary. But Miss Sloane apparently has her limits. The hearing, we learn, is in fact a personal attack on her to discredit her campaign for gun control. It is this campaign that is the focus of the movie’s timeline.
After laughing the NRA out of the building for their clumsy attempts at racking up the female vote, Sloane is propositioned by a rival third tier firm CEO, Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong). Quitting and bringing her best team mates, she is soon faced with a seemingly impossible battle with the NRA’s deep pockets. Sloane gets on the attack fast, employing all the dubious chess moves in her repertoire to keep the ball rolling in ways her team can’t even comprehend. Director John Madden keeps the high pace as she connives, lies, illegally surveys her targets, and drops her colleagues in the thick of it without thought.
Audiences have been spoiled by a number of fantastic TV dramas these past few years – to the point where Jonathan Perera’s first-time screenplay might seem contrived in comparison. But Chastain’s portrayal of the stimulant popping, overworking protagonist carries what could have been an otherwise clichéd lead. She brings a poised yet solemn vigour to the role that, despite a perfectly manicured image that is flawless in its seeming disregard for others, teeters on the edge of despair. It is her performance that is the centrepiece of the movie and while the third act falls short, Miss Sloane more than adds up to a strong political drama.
Miss Sloane is released nationwide on 24th February 2017.
Watch the trailer for Miss Sloane here: