282. Miss Sloane


“Miss Sloane” feels like an imitation of an Aaron Sorkin movie with an alien surrogate inhabiting its star, Jessica Chastain. Perhaps it’s because I watched “Molly’s Game,” an actual Aaron Sorkin movie that also had Jessica Chastain and other fast talking, Sorkin-esque characters, not too long ago that “Miss Sloane” feels a bit old hat. But there clearly is a discrepancy here between intelligence value and entertainment value.

Chastain stars as Elizabeth Sloane, a high-powered DC lobbyist who can sway and swoon any client or congressman, if they pay her price. Sloane’s firm starts to work for pro-gun advocates, Sloane doesn’t dig that and ditches her team to work with a lesser lobbying office aimed at promoting gun control. In-between work hours, (although Sloane is painted as the type who is always working), she hangs with Esme, an up-and-coming member of her new firm played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and humping her escort Forde, played by Jake Lacy.

There’s a lot of political themes here you’ve seen before, even though “Miss Sloane” believes it’s the first movie to ever address hem. “Yeah yeah, politicians are corrupt, media can be easily manipulated, money drives everything, what else is new?” And while the climax is thrilling, but doesn’t provide the necessary pillow talk afterwards to give what we watched full meaning.

It’s a commanding performance from Chastain but doesn’t really feel like a challenging one. The actress seems to have carved at best a niche, at worst a typecasting, of portraying strong, independent, powerful women. Her best portrayal of this was in “Zero Dark Thirty,” when her government agent Mia brought down Bin Laden. “Miss Sloane” very well could be her worst, a character who always knows the perfect thing to say and do, and even when she falters, she does so perfectly. That can make Sloane an enviable, anti hero role model, but it makes “Miss Sloane” a forgettable film.

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