Hot Take: Jessica Chastain should be nominated for Best Actress.
Sometimes an actor or actress is so good in a movie, it elevates the movie to a higher status. Miss Sloane is one of those movies thanks to Jessica Chastain who plays the titular character. Her performance is so strong, the flaws of Miss Sloane are ones you’ll more likely gloss over just to enjoy her screen time.
And that isn’t to say Miss Sloane is bad, either. It’s good. Very good, actually. It’s just not perfect. The film is directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) and has an interesting score that occasionally feels out of place. Madden’s directorial style in Miss Sloane feels a little like a riff on an Aaron Sorkin film than his own personal touch which makes for comparisons rather than the fim standing on its own at times.
However, the story here is Chastain. As Elizabeth Sloane, she devours the role of a smart, ruthless, pushy lobbyist who is also somehow able to show vulnerability and garner sympathy through her performance. The movie isn’t short on talent surrounding Chastain either but it’s all eyes on her as she owns every scene and locks down one of the best performances of 2016.
As for the supporting cast, there’s Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sam Waterston, Jake Lacy and John Lithgow. Mbatha-Raw as gun control activist Esme Manucharian and fellow lobbyist has the strongest performance but Waterston and Lithgow turn in their typically delightful performances as well. Strong makes up for his poor work in The Brothers Grimsby. They all elevate Chastain’s work to another level in their time shared on screen as Chastain has excellent chemistry with the entire supporting cast.
If you enjoy highly charged political thrillers with backroom dealings and a “who can you trust?” feel, Miss Sloane is a movie you’ll want to see. The same can be said if you’re a fan of Chastain looking for her to get a role which spotlights her talent as an actress. She’s front and center in this role and does not disappoint.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
Already mentioned but can’t avoid mentioning one more time, Chastain is the highlight of the film.
- Mark Stuhlbarg
Stuhlbarg plays Chastain’s nemesis and former co-worker on the other side of the issue. He’s foul-mouthed, just as ruthless as Sloane and delivers another strong supporting performance which has become his forte.
- The Political Issue of Guns
The film makes a statement on the gun lobby and the power which it has thanks to a bottomless wallet and willingness to do whatever it takes to keep guns as easy as possible to get. It may or may not be an accurate account of how business goes down in Washington but it is believable.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Could There Be Some Tighter Editing?
At 2 hours and 12 minutes, Miss Sloane rarely feels like its actual length. However, being nitpicky, there’s an opportunity to bring this film in under 2 hours. There only needs to be 12 minutes less to do so but it could increase the movie’s pace even more.