There will be people who tell you that “Miss Sloane” is too biased against the second amendment and too liberal in its advocacy for gun control. These people forget that a film needs a point of view to be great. Calling “Miss Sloane” “too liberal” to enjoy is kind of like saying “The Silence of the Lambs” is too pro-serial killer to enjoy. It’s an incredibly well-made film about lobbying, lobbyists, politics and the lengths people will stoop to for a political agenda. It’s well-written, wonderfully acted and yes, there’s a progressive viewpoint to the thing. It is also the kind of well-crafted, mid-budget film that we are seeing fewer of in recent years. The movie theater is where you suspend disbelief and immerse yourself in a different world for a few hours. The latest offering from director John Madden is worth seeing and dragging some friends to as well.
Jessica Chastain plays Elizabeth Sloane, a steel-eyed lobbyist on a winning streak. A woman who exudes power and menace. Enter the pro-gun George Dupont (Sam Waterston), a man with an agenda who wants to convince more women to buy weapons, because, well, there needs to be sustainable growth in the industry. Sloane opposes the idea, because she feels gun control can be sensible. So, she changes sides and joins forces with the underfunded underdogs and misfits that wish to do battle with the pro-gun gang; an opponent that is both well-organized and financially sound. The drama builds organically and nearly flawlessly. Chastain commands the screen with the force of her impeccably dressed persona, and finds help from a stable of quality actors like Waterston, John Lithgow and Christine Baranski – a troupe of players that bring experience and range to all corners of this film. There’s also Gugu Mbatha-Raw who is nothing short of perfect as one of Sloane’s colleagues. But the film belongs to Chastain who will most likely get nominated for every award on the planet.
One of the more interesting facts is the fact that screenwriter Jonathan Perera was the only writer to work on the script. It is rare when one person’s vision makes it to the screen without other ideas getting welded to the chassis. It’s even more rare that this is his first screenplay. Director John Madden personally gave Chastain the script, saying he had her in mind after reading Perera’s work. Several people are criticizing the film, saying it was timed to coincide with Hillary Clinton’s election as president. That’s utter hogwash. You do not have to be pro-gun control to enjoy Chastain’s brilliant performance. I’m a pacifist and I knew that “Hacksaw Ridge” was not a pro-war film and was also one of the best films of the year. “Miss Sloane” is better.