Miss Sloane (R)

Starring Jessica Chastain and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane is the story of a woman who is obsessed with winning at all cost.  Sloane is a D.C. lobbyist who takes on the gun lobby in order to get a bill approved which would require all gun purchasers go through a background check.  On its face and in light of modern-day events, one would not think this bill unreasonable, but to those who argue that a mandatory federal background check impinges upon their second amendment right to bear arms it is the first line of defense on a slippery slope against any further restrictions being handed down regarding gun control; so they fight against this bill vehemently.  As the “little guy,” Miss Sloan must plot strategically, and sometimes deviously, in order to win.  But can she?

Because this story relates so closely to the events of the day and paints a scarily accurate picture of our corrupt political climate, this movie didn’t really get a lot of press, publicity or support as it was released around, shall we call it, a very tense election season. It received so little support, in fact, that one might wonder why it was even released.  Miss Sloan shows the very nasty underbelly of politics that we all know exists and the pivotal role lobbyists play in political decision making.

Ms. Chastain does an excellent job in this role and carries the movie well with a stellar group of co-stars. She is fierce and fearless in her portrayal of a woman who simply loves to win.  She has no baggage, makes no excuses and offers no apologies for her ferocious drive.  She operates in a male dominated field competently and unapologetically.  Quite similarly to Isabelle Huppert’s character in Elle, Miss Sloan is methodical in her actions.  She is a strong, modern, confident, autonomous, woman, who is not really the most socially well-adjusted person.

The writing is really strong here, and the story kept me interested throughout the entire movie. Miss Sloane almost feels like a throwback to the days of movies like Fatal Attraction, Jagged Edge and Malice with its strong, controlling female lead and the suspense and the way the story slowly unwinds.  You get invested, you want to know more about these characters, including what Miss Sloan and those around her will do next.  You want to see how far things will go.

I have a slight spoiler alert here, which I rarely do, but I must.  So if you plan on seeing the movie just skip past this paragraph if you have that capability.  But the problem I had with this movie is that things did not go far enough.  This feels strange to write, almost, but I would have loved to see some murder here.  It would have given that full throw-back quality to the story and made the story more thrilling as it added another level of suspense, mystery and intrigue to the entire plot.  Now here is where the real spoiler is There was opportunity to inject such a murder that was not taken, and the possibilities surrounding how things could have played out after that were squandered.  This was not that movie, I suppose.  Not the movie I wanted it to be anyway, but damn it, it should have been.  Oh, how I wish it had been.

Anyhoo… Miss Sloan earned 8.0 out of 10 bloops. It’s a great movie worth seeing for Chastain’s Golden Globe nominated performance and the performance of the supporting cast, as well as the relevant subject matter, modern story and strong female lead.  While it was suspenseful and mysterious, I would have loved it if the story to have been “pushed” a bit more.

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