Political thrillers aren’t as captivating as they once were… perhaps that’s because actually real-life politics provides endless amounts of drama, spectacle and circus tricks. Miss Sloane goes some way to legitimately bring back the classical political thriller to our multiplexes, thanks largely to Jessica Chastain. She seems to inexplicably get better with each passing project, and delivers yet another sensational leading turn in this taut, engrossing story from writer Jonathan Perera and director John Madden.
Chastain plays Washington DC lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane, a career-driven and respected professional who gets the job done by any means necessary. This naturally makes her a powerful figure in these circles. Taking up a new position in a rival firm, Elizabeth is pitted against her old employers in a head-on political collision with the stakes rising fast. In a bid to win, Elizabeth crosses every line she can to get to that winning edge, even if it means exposing her own secrets in the process.
The character of Elizabeth Sloane is cold, calculated and utterly immersive. Chastain grabs your attention throughout and delivers one of her finest performances to date, thanks to the complexities of Sloane and her career. She’s not a likeable person but you stick with her throughout, because she is so commanding. If there’s an element of the film that doesn’t quite match up, it’s her love angle with Jake Lacy as Forde, a male escort that offers her brief escapism. It feels forced at times, but the narrative uses the relationship to good effect come the end of the film.
Chastain is coupled with great support from the likes of Mark Strong as her long-suffering new boss Rodolfo Schmidt (great character name), Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Lithgow, Alison Pill and Sam Waterston. With the story constantly twisting and turning, you never know who to trust so this utilises the talents of the supporting cast exceptionally well. Mbatha-Raw stands out, as does Pill in pivotal, key roles.
Clever, astutely observed and immensely absorbing, Miss Sloane is one of the best dramas of the year with Chastain on award-winning form. The story always keeps you guessing, the dialogue snaps along beautifully and Chastain completely and comprehensively commands the screen at all times. This is one of those performances that will go on to define her body of work, and makes Miss Sloane an unmissable watch.
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Lacey, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Lithgow, Alison Pill, Sam Waterston Director: John Madden Writer: Jonathan Perera Released By: eOne Certificate: 15 Duration: 132 mins Release Date: 12th May 2017