I’d venture to guess that unless you seek out the arcane films, you haven’t heard of the 2016 political thriller Miss Sloane. It was never available in two-thirds of the theaters in the United States, and the other third only had it for, at most, two weeks. The limited-run it got was far less than it deserved, because the first-time writer of this screenplay created a gem!
Perhaps I only stumbled upon this film because I somewhat recently saw a movie trailer for a film with Jessica Chastain that looked interesting, but couldn’t recall the title once I went to update my “must see” list. Not remembering how long ago it was that I saw the trailer, when looking through new release DVDs on Netflix (delivery service), seeing listed a highly-rated, recent movie with the super talented Chastain in a film with a name in the title, I decided to give it a whirl. I had been thinking of MOLLY’S GAME, which hits theaters this December, but this mistake was a happy one.
In terms of plot, I don’t think anyone needs to have an interest in political lobbyists to appreciate this film. Jessica Chastain plays a highly effective, results-driven woman who works within a system of manipulation, game theory, bribery, extortion, and fundraisers to push (or push back upon) political agendas. It’s an expertly crafted film from start to finish, and by the time it was over, I wanted to watch it again to see if I could pick up on the clues I had missed.
The acting is every bit as good as the writing, with Chastain leading the way and the likes of Mark Strong, Sam Waterston, John Lithgow, Michael Stuhlbarg and Alison Pill supporting (in addition to a strong performance by the lesser-known talent Gugu Mbatha-Raw).
Anyone who takes 15 minutes to watch the first few scenes on Amazon Instant Video (or wherever else they can find it streaming) will likely find themselves hooked into the plot. That’s what happened during my first viewing of the film, watching it with someone who was captivated despite only intending to watch for 15 minutes before moving onto other tasks (like getting to bed at the normal time).
I’ll be looking forward to seeing what writer Jonathan Perera comes up with next. In the meantime, someone get that guy a Wikipedia page!
My rating: 92 out of 100