Release Date: December 9, 2016
Director: John Madden
Writer: Jonathan Perera
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Alison Pill, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Lithgow, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark Strong, Jake Lacy, Sam Waterston, Ennis Esmer, Douglas Smith, Dylan Baker, Alexandra Castillo, Meghann Fahy, Kyle Mac, Doug Murray,
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 132 minutes
Production Company: Transfilm, Archery Pictures, Canal+ Distribution, Cine+, FilmNation Entertainment, France 2 Cinema, France Televisions Distribution.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: France, USA
Budget: $18,000,000 (estimated)
If you learn anything from Miss Sloane, it would be to know your opponent at all times, trying to predict as many moves as possible. The preparation of her daily duties was that of a brand-new clock that’s constantly working and never breaks. The film asks huge moral questions that will bring up interesting conversations regarding how much is too much. If not already known, it reveals the sinister-like behavior some possess just for the sake of winning. It’s sickening, yet at the same time appealing. There’s twists and turns, and not much to frown upon, other than the psyche of the titular character. Jessica Chastain once again provides a stellar performance of a cold calculating machine, as if she has a personal vendetta against the world and is out for revenge.
It’s quite scary the more you think about it. Why is she so driven? It’s a character trait that’s respected, yet also terrifying. What’s great is Miss Sloane never lets life get her down. Whether it was going through a divorce, loss of a loved one, or recovering from betrayal, she always bounced back stronger than ever. She’s someone I would want on my team, but not as a friend. She goes about her day as if the entire town is against her, but her confidence is never shaken. She clearly found the key to push on, and is the meat and potatoes of this drama.
The supporting cast is just as strong with roles played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, and John Lithgow just to list a few. So, when Chastain is going full fledge terminator mode during a hearing, or towards opposing counsel, she has competition to throw blows back in forth with through witty dialogue. It’s insanely difficult to predict the outcome, and sure does make for an interesting debate during certain scenes. What’s also fascinating is that everyone around Sloane is intelligent and has a feeling that they may be being played, but they don’t know where to look for the answers. For one person to have this type of influence is a true testament of their impact on others.
Within the plot of the film there’s no mystery to be solved, but an outcome you’re anticipating. It’s unpredictable, and even if in a similar situation sacrifices I’m not willing to make. Though some are. There was no limit to her madness to win. All Sloane cared about was winning. This is good to an extent, but where do you draw the line? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win, but the journey to get there is the most important. This was something Sloane couldn’t adapt to. She had her ties, but cut them the moment she found them useless. It’s as if she didn’t have any feelings or remorse for anyone she used or stepped over to succeed.
Peeling all the layers back, close up Miss Sloane has several great things to love about it. The characters are strong, the plot is solid, and the pacing is that of an exciting horse race. You’ll walk away smarter with a better understanding of what motivates people to keep going, and an alarm for those that will extort. If it isn’t obvious already, on the outside of it all you’ll realize that everyone doesn’t value life the same as you do. Miss Sloane certainly doesn’t in the slightest. While some people would never hurt a fly, she would take a flamethrower to a swarm laughing while she does it. The crazy thing is she’ll be honest about it, and warn you she’s on her way.