Jessica Chastain owns the screen in Miss Sloane. It’s well-established by now that Chastain is a performer with the kind of star power that forces your gaze to follow her every step. She’s mesmerizing and emotive, and there is no mistaking the fact that this is her movie.
This awards-caliber performance is surrounded by a slick and twisty political plot that will grip fans of Sorkin-esque quickfire dialogue and Game of Thrones-level subtle maneuvers. That’s also a recipe to send plenty of viewers running. But, if it doesn’t trigger your flight response, you’re going to want to tune in.
Admittedly, I know nothing about the day-to-day life of a lobbyist, but I was inclined to believe what I was seeing even before seeing reports that Chastain spent time with actual female lobbyists on the hill to learn their mannerisms, style and all of those little nuances that can make or break the illusion. Miss Sloane tops two hours, but it moves forward with sufficient propulsive force that the length never provokes any impatience. Quite to the contrary (and at the risk of belaboring the point) I could have watched Chastain do her thing all day.
Although this is a performance movie, it should be noted that the plot does satisfy, I found myself immersed in dreams of the lobbyist life the night I screened it — it was terribly stressful and I want no part of that world. And as the ultimate reveal came down I had the rare (and rather upsetting) realization that I did not pin down what was happening before it happened.
Whatever else it may be seen as (and that will likely be many things in this charged season in a charged year), Miss Slone is a satisfying watch anchored by an incredible centerpiece performance, and that’s to say nothing of Allison Pill and Gugu Mbatha-Raw who turn in supporting turns worthy of adoration in their own right.