Miss Sloane review: Jessica Chastain is a piece of work in this take-down of political lobbying in Washington

 
Melissa York
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Jessica Chastain in Miss Sloane
Miss Sloane
3.0


Dir. John Madden

Don’t be fooled by the cutesy, Austenesque title: Jessica Chastain is a piece of work in Miss Sloane. A lobbyist in the cut-throat world of Washington politics, she plays a workaholic obsessed with winning at all costs.

When the gun lobby tries to solicit her services, she quits her high-profile firm for a smaller outfit in a bid to pass a bill enforcing stricter background checks on firearms sales. Has Miss Sloane finally located her conscience, or is she just out to prove she can win against the odds?

Fans of Aaron Sorkin’s rapid-fire, clever-clever dialogue will lap up this sharp political thriller; a couple of cast members from The Newsroom even turn up to reprise their roles as smart people who can talk about politics quicker than you can think about lunch.

The film shines when it homes in on Sloane, allowing Chastain to chip away at the ice maiden, but it veers into schmaltzy territory when it widens its focus to lobbying as a whole. As an exposé of the industry, it’s as partisan as the politicians it sets out to skewer, but as a character study of a Machiavellian fanatic, it’s gripping.

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