Miss Sloane

 

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Jessica Chastain sharpens her claws on a part with a heart – and a mission to win.

 

Miss Sloane

Beatific bitch? Jessica Chastain

 

In Miss Sloane’s book, knowledge is everything. She not only embraces homework like a religion, but she keeps key moves from the experts she hires to do her bidding. Madeleine Elizabeth Sloane is a lobbyist and she likes to win. Such human necessities as sleep and food are irritants in her 24-hour plan and so she gulps down psychostimulants to stay awake and eats alone at the same noodle bar every night. Then, in an uncharacteristic move, she turns down a lucrative offer from the gun lobby in order to support an under-funded humanitarian rival…

 

Jessica Chastain is one of the finest actresses of her generation – and Miss Sloane is a peach of a part. Both a courtroom thriller and a character study, the film is a whip-smart, dialogue-driven express ride of political and ethical ambiguity. Chastain rises to the challenge and channels her own intelligence, passion and vulnerability into her Golden Globe-nominated performance. Elizabeth Sloane is an anti-heroine of sorts, but Ms Chastain makes us root for her. As director, John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) keeps events moving at an agreeable pace, working from Jonathan Perera's finely tooled arrow of a screenplay. And there’s strong support, too, from Gugu Mbatha-Raw and John Lithgow.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, Jake Lacy, John Lithgow, Sam Waterston, Chuck Shamata, Dylan Baker, Christine Baranski.

 

Dir John Madden, Pro Ariel Zeitoun, Ben Browning and Kris Thykier, Screenplay Jonathan Perera, Ph Sebastian Blenkov, Pro Des Matthew Davies, Ed Alexander Berner, Music Max Richter, Costumes Georgina Yarhi.

 

FilmNation Entertainment/Archery Pictures/France 2 Cinema/Canal+/Ciné+/France Televisions-Entertainment One.

132 mins. USA/France. 2016. Rel: 12 May 2017. Cert. 15.