Charting the cut & throat business of lobbyists on capitol hill, boasting a charismatic stellar cast collective, but focussing its sophisticated & politically charged storyline on one high octane living & ruthlessly relentless yet respected operator and her insatiable desire to win out at any cost, while the ultimate twisted sting in her tail crescendo’s a simply stunning screenplay, this our acclaimed account of fantastic film “Miss Sloane”.
With politics seemingly dominating the day, indeed virtually each & every day we have woken up to recently, the shock waves of Brexit, of Donald Trump’s succession to the most powerful position in the western world and now the UK general election, to say we are turned off and in fact turn of the news as a result, is an understatement, this also extending to any politically inspired television programme. However, we accept that the business of politics is an unavoidable entity and, in some circumstances, makes for enthralling entertainment, especially when casting the lighter side of some of its players & pawns, especially in social media, although it is rare for in to engage with televisual drama’s, particularly American ones, the likes of “House of Cards”, “The West Wing”, “Scandal” & “The Good Wife”, as popular they are, just don’t float our viewing boat. However, we have a decidedly different stance when it comes to screenplay’s, some of the more notable politically pitched motion pictures finding favour & a place in our DVD collection, classics such as “The Day Of The Jackal”, “Gandhi” & “The Boys From Brazil” rewarded with regular viewings, as are more modern excellent examples “Enemy Of The State”, “Patriot Games” & “Argo”, while South African slanted ones obviously strike a chord, “Cry Freedom”, “Goodbye Bafana” & “Mandela – Long Walk To Freedom” among more. So, far from turning is off, we find ourselves honing in on these types of movies, hence why we looked forward with great expectation to “Miss Sloane”, a screenplay which saw its release state side back in November last year, so strangely seems to have taken it’s time to make to cinema’s here, its disappointing box office receipts in the US perhaps the reason behind the long delay, its fortunes this side of the Atlantic not helped by the lack of promotion. But, having spotted it’s trailer ahead of a screening last week, we immediately added it to our viewing bucket list, not least due to the lead actress, we still soaking in the splendour of Jessica Chastain’s showing in “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, so parting our health woes waters to make it to the picture house at the earliest window of watching opportunity.
Now, we are not going to dwell on the plot, or reveal the final few scenes sting in the “Miss Sloane” tail, save to say the ultimate twist to this tale is both tremendous & jaw dropping, while the rest of this fantastic film is both intensely intriguing & enthrallingly entertaining to sometimes shocking extent, especially given graphic display of the cut throat tactics employed by the capitol hill lobbyists on which this screenplay & storyline is based. Indeed, the character that is Elizabeth Sloane is as ruthless & relentless as we imagine a lobbyist at the top of her game, Chastain in her portrayal both phenomenal & profound in equal measures, we admitting to, at times, being left breathless and agog with her actions, the one facet of Mark Kermode’s review that we agree with, being Jessica’s indelible & sometimes singular influence on both the content & impact that “Miss Sloane” makes as a movie. However, that is where our critique comparison essentially ends as, unlike Kermode, we found this masterpiece of a motion picture, commandingly compelling from start to finish, snippets we found synergy with quite surprising, one being Sloane’s apparent addicting to amphetamines, something we experienced first-hand in a close colleague in our corporate banking days, so utterly plausible, as the underlying substance of the storyline, being corruption in the American political system, one incredibly topical to boot. Yet while Chastain is the lynchpin to this picture, sterling performances from both John Lithgow as US Senator Ron M Sperling and Sam Waterston as Cole Kravitz & Waterman lobbying firm boss George Dupont (admittedly with the feeling of being ever so slightly typecast, given his roles in hit US television drama’s “Law & Order” and “The Newsroom”) are also notable, theirs along with that of Gugu Mbatha-Raw who becomes the powerful emotional anchor in this picture, her character, Esme Manucharian, despite being a teenage victim of gun crime, finds herself thrusted into the lobbying limelight by the heartless Elizabeth Sloane and so tugs on our sympathetic strings to exceptional effect. But plenty more solid performances from a cast of supporters, along with excellent enveloping layers to this prolific politically charged gun control lobbying drama come thriller, “Miss Sloane” scores exceedingly highly in our estimation and we look forward to the DVD release which, for us, cannot come too soon. (DISCO MATT)