Miss Sloane: a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

March 1, 2017 by Roz Tarszisz
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In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty) is a ruthless Washington D.C. lobbyist.  Known for her successful track record, she will do whatever it takes to win.

Director John Madden (The Best and Second Best Marigold Hotel, The Debt) places Sloane firmly at the centre of this drama/thriller and it’s a convincing performance by Chastain.

When head of her firm George Dupont (Sam Waterston) tells Sloane she is to help the powerful gun lobby defeat new legislation requiring more stringent background checks for gun ownership, she is reluctant to take it on.

Within 24 hours she has been approached by Rodolfo Schmidt  (Mark Strong). He wants her help to gain support for the gun law amendment.  In a swift turnabout, she quits her job, gathers a few loyal staff and decamps to Schmidt’s side to help push the bill through Congress.

As Sloane’s team get closer to their goal, the stakes are high.  Dupont and his client are well funded and decide to go after her personally in an attempt to defuse the possibility of her success.

“Let’s start an inquisition” says Dupont.

Sloane has no time for relationships and she’s not that likeable but I do admire her drive, intelligence and wardrobe. She is tough but still feminine with her perfect hair, red lipstick and high heels.

When Sloane is called to answer a Senate hearing into her activities it looks like she will lose everything.  Can this modern woman take care of herself when powerful men seek her downfall?

The rapid fire dialogue was reminiscent of an Aaron Sorkin script but first time scriptwriter Jonathan Perera is credited as the sole writer and has done an excellent job. We’ve seen tales of murky backstage D.C. shenanigans before but this story takes it to another level.

Performances are excellent all-round although Strong, who usually has a fierce screen presence, is somewhat under­-utilised.

“You’re a piece of work Elizabeth.” Schmidt tells the lobbyist, and it’s not meant as a compliment.

3.5/5 Rated M 132 mins Released nationally March 2

Director John Madden

Writer Jonathan Perera

Stars Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alison Pill, Jake Lacy, Sam Waterston, John Lithgow

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