Political thriller ‘Miss Sloane’ hit US screens late last year, however us folk over here in the UK have had to wait until now to see it. Earning Jessica Chastain a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress only increased my level of intrigue. Although casting Chastain alone is enough to grab my attention for any upcoming release. Despite this, political & thriller are two words I wouldn’t usually put together, I often find political films uninteresting and dull. I therefore aired on the side of caution before getting too excited about the film.
As the opening scenes played out I literally had no idea what was going on. Terminology that I simply wasn’t familiar with seemed to make up the backbone of the script. I quickly prepared myself for the film to go completely over my head. However, as the film goes on you do become accustomed to the language and can begin to piece the narrative together. Chastain’s character is a no nonsense lobbyist who is recruited to help pass a bill which will tighten gun control. Once you grasp the main plot ‘Miss Sloane’ is spectacularly engaging. The screenplay moves at a million miles an hour and after every line of dialogue is spoken you want to pause and dissect what you’ve just heard. It’s maybe a little far fetched when you properly sit and think about it and it is about fifteen minutes too long. However, it’s filled with numerous narrative highlights amongst an already thrilling watch. Never have I been entertained so much by a film falling under the political genre.
Jessica Chastain is largely responsible for creating this level of entertainment. Her work here is so great that even in the opening scenes when I wasn’t all that sure of what was going on narratively I was still transfixed to the screen thanks to her performance. She keeps up with the rapid screenplay with ease, both giving each other further momentum. She’s also surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast including John Lithgow, Mark Strong, Jake Lacy & Gugu Mbatha-Raw to name a few. There are countless excellent performances on show here but Chastain demands most of the attention with her commanding presence, and rightly so. ‘Miss Sloane’ is a character study about the titular character dressed up as political/courtroom drama. The exploration into her character is just as fascinating as the overall plot. The screenplay balances this dual focus well which is carried off brilliantly by quite possibly a career best performance from Chastain.
‘Miss Sloane’ is a wonderful cinematic surprise, in a year when there really haven’t been too many positive ones. Jessica Chastain anchors the film with her tremendous performance consistently stimulating audiences. This could have well been enough to make the film a success however it’s Jonathan Perera’s screenplay which combines with Chastain’s performance that makes the film really special. Not dissimilar to the calibre of work we are accustomed to from Aaron Sorkin you’ll be hanging off every single line of dialogue.
Rating – 8.5/10
Question: What are your favourite political films?
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