A review of the 2016 political thriller “Miss Sloane”

This film is a terrific reminder of a lesson too often forgotten in the world of movies: a really good film has to start with a really good script. Amazingly, the scriptwriter in this case, the British Jonathan Perera, had never written a film before this one which won him Best Screenplay from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. His legal and teaching background clearly helped but this is a man who has obviously devoured the work of Aaron Sorkin in “The West Wing” in order to produce this wordy and richly-textured script.

I confess that i could not catch all the dialogue and some of what i caught I didn’t understand, but the narrative is never less than compelling.

The next essential ingredient of a successful film is a fine cast. The eponymous role of Washington political lobbyist is brilliantly filled by Jessica Chastain. She is wonderful at playing strong women (think “Zero Dark Thirty”) and clearly relishes a wordy script (think “Molly’s Game”). But the support cast is excellent too with stars like Mark Strong, Sam Waterston and John Lithgow and newcomers such as Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Alison Pill.

Once you have the script and the cast, it all needs to come together with an able director and here we have more British talent with John Madden who gave us such character-driven work as “Shakespeare In Love” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

If you want car chases and shoot-outs, this is probably not the film for you. But, if you care how laws are made in the USA and how guns are controlled (or not) in that country or if you just like a fast-paced political thriller with as many twists as a corkscrew, “Miss Sloane” is highly recommended.


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