I have a soft spot for political dramas. Not only because I have keen interest into the subject of politics itself, but also because political films tend to treat the audience as intelligent and they save themselves any cheesiness or over-exposition. Miss Sloane is the latest political drama to come out, about the life of lobbying groups in DC.
Miss Sloane is a film about Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) a ruthless and extremely successful lobbyist in DC who when asked to campaign for pro-guns, leaves her post at her prestigious company and joins their rivals. The film then ensues in explaining her fight with her previous company and the specific dubiousness in Washington, as careers are put ahead of human emotions and lives.
From the get-go you can tell that screenwriter Jonathan Perera is heavily influenced by Aaron Sorkin; he has the same quick-witted characters with fast walk-and-talks that the audience will struggle to keep up with. However, I feel that Perera goes a bit overboard with the speed and quick thinking of his characters. From the beginning of the film, you have to be laser focused into every bit of dialogue and you hardly have time to process the conjunction of words before another important piece of narrative is thrown at you. Veteran director John Madden, could have eased this with a bit slower pacing, but the movie already stretches out a bit far on its own, so the audience is left its wits, scrambling to keep up.
But if you do manage to stay in stride with the narrative, it does have a great payoff. There are some incredible twists and back-stabbings that the fast pace of the film doesn’t let you see coming. Perera was also courageous enough to tease us with a cheesy ending and then give us a final jerk of the rug. The film is also cautious enough to present both emotional sides of the political issue that it is dealing with, but isn’t silly enough to fall too deep into its tropes.
Jessica Chastain gives an absolute masterful performance, bringing in some of coldness and dedication that made her character in Zero Dark Thirty so memorable. A notable cast of veterans including Sam Waterston, John Lithgow, Mark Strong, and Michael Stuhlbarg escort Chastain in her trek of the lobbying world, all at the top of their game.
I thoroughly enjoyed Miss Sloane, but the fast rat-a-tat and doling of info might be too overwhelming for some audience members. Nevertheless, it is an important film to watch today, as it regards the lack of morals in politics today; everything has become more about keeping one’s seat in Congress than making the world a better place.