Oh my god, I love me a good Jessica Chastain movie… but since she’s amazing in anything and everything that she’s in, that’s never a problem. Though to be perfectly honest, as much as I love this woman’s talent, I can tell this movie won’t really be up my alley. Political thrillers are for smarter people than I am. But hey, you can always appreciate good performances and Chastain looks like she’s going to own this shit.
As you can tell, I’m a Chastain fan all the way. I fell in love with her when I saw INTERSTELLAR (2014) and have been a fan of hers ever since. She was even my favorite part of HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR (2016). I know it most likely wasn’t her doing those Black Widow stunts, but she was still a highly enjoyable character. More than happy to support her work in this. In supporting roles, we have Gugu Mbatha-Raw (FREE STATE OF JONES , CONCUSSION , and BELLE ), Mark Strong (KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE , GREEN LANTERN , and KICK-ASS ), and Alison Pill (HAIL, CAESAR! , GOON , and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD ).
Now for behind the scenes. Directing is John Madden, known for the Marigold Hotel films, THE DEBT (2010), and SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998). Penning the screenplay is Jonathan Perera, making his debut. Congrats, sir. Composing the music is Max Richter, known for MORGAN (2016), TESTAMENT OF YOUTH (2014), and ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST (2014). Finally, the cinematographer is Sebastian Blenkov, known for a lot of films I’ve never heard of.
Overall, I can’t say anything about the story, but… ah, y’all know why I’m seeing this. So, this is my honest opinion of MISS SLOANE.
“In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, “The Gun Lobby”, she finds that winning may come at too high a price.” – Wikipedia; “Miss Sloane”
Apologies for the use of a secondary source to summarize the film, but as I stated above political thrillers are hard for me to follow. The best that I could follow, story-wise, was that Sloane is taking on the challenge of… gaining political votes for a bill that will make it harder for dangerous criminals to get their hands on powerful firearms, but not to abolish them completely. As far as the story states, this is a feat that hasn’t been accomplished. When Sloane’s firm thinks it’s a losing battle, her firm’s competitors seek her out and she accepts, taking most of her crew with her, with the exception of her most trusted partner and protegé, Jane (Allison Pill), who stays behind, causing them to be rivals. The rest of the movie is Sloane tracking down all the political figures that will give them the go-ahead on the bill and rooting out any traitors who might sell their strategy to Sloane’s competitors. Maybe that’s exactly what the story is, but I don’t want to risk putting it up there without some politically-minded folks pointing out everything that I missed.
But enough of that, I loved this movie! I have no idea where this movie is going wrong with everyone. IMDb has it at a 6.1/10 and RottenTomatoes has it at a 69% (both as of 12/12/2016). I mean, the best I can guess is that there’s some unrealistic politics somewhere that’s obvious to those that know the game, as opposed to a dude like me who wouldn’t be able to tell a lobbyist from his ass.
But let’s get down to the star attraction: Chastain. Prepare for a thousand variations of man-squeeing, because… *deep inhale* OH MY GOD, SHE’S INCREDIBLE!!! Seriously, she’s got my award for baddest bad-ass bitch in my book. Chastain is constantly surrounded by old men in business suits who have their idea of how things should be and telling people how to achieve their visions, whereas Sloane is right there pushing back with greater vigor, and showing that there is another way to do things and she’s going to make that a reality. Which makes her so much more interesting because she’s not afraid to do the controversial thing, like selling out her own team to progress the cause. She’s cold, calculating, ruthless, she’s that perfect kind of character that you never know is really on your side. She’s that kind of person that believes that the ends justify the means. She also has a subtler side that knows that when she sells out someone that she respects, it’s wrong and she doesn’t like the looks that she gets. And because she’s been this way her entire adult life, there’s the faintest of regrets of who she could have been, but never regrets what she became.
After a little digging, I discovered that my guesses were right. As this is a political film, much of the hate surrounding it is due to its political stances. Inaccurate statistics and numbers and all that. Hey, if that’s your thing, I can’t voice an opinion. However, small reminder to those not familiar with me, I’m not a political person. I didn’t go into this movie for the politics. I wanted to see Chastain command the screen and that’s exactly what I got. The politics went over my head and I allowed this to be dramatic junk-food, if that’s even possible to do. So yeah, is it great? Eh, maybe not. But is the star great? Oh hell yeah. Her support is great. Mbatha-Raw, Strong, Pill, they’re all very good as well, but Chastain is clearly the meat of the story and that’s all I needed to care about this. The politics, blah blah blah, who cares? If you’re a fan of the cast like I am, give it a shot. It’s worth it. But if you’re political… yeah, you might wanna pass on this one.
My honest rating for MISS SLOANE: 5/5