How many films this year serve to remind you of the low rate of dildo-related murders in the US? Hazarding a guess, there won’t be too many.

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The film follows Miss Sloane, a powerful lobbyist in Washington cutting a swathe through the establishment. Her small team of mavericks in a big firm successfully lobby government, and voters alike. Her rising star and ability to get it done attracts a major gun rights group. Looking to market guns as a Mum’s #1 protection, her humorous reaction to the idea’s ludicrous nature and blatant refusal offends. The firm who are looking for major clients, like the gun rights groups fire her and the gun rights group wants to fire back. Soon an ethics committee place Elizabeth Sloane on trial.

Jessica Chastain is compelling. Chastain’s titular character keeps spiralling lower, her public façade wearing down. Unapologetically feminine in the boys club, intense and passionate about a role that she loves, Chastain is everything. Her powerhouse performance surrounded by an excellent supporting cast drives this drama.

After Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s emotionally compelling turn in the enticing Belle, we experience a controlled performance, a highly skilled professional blossoming under the watchful eye of her new boss. Ever dependable Mark Rylance is the strong moral centre. John Lithgow, the impartial arbitrator. Solid performances in smaller parts stand out, Jake Lacey, Sam Waterson, and Alison Pill.  Comfortable, and repeatedly, working with strong actresses such as Helen Mirrem and Dame Judi Dench, Oscar-nominated director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) has pulled together a film sure of its direction.

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It’s smooth pace draws the proceedings together, however, it’s without any flare in and of itself. The score is nondescript a draw card when the film wants you to focus on character interaction. The script, debut work of Jonathan Perera, is eloquent and sharp, drawing you in. Expect to see more of Perera in the future.

Sloane is unlikeable and doesn’t need you to like her. Her strength to do what she wants cannot be underestimated and makes for a captivating character. Fudging the political lines between legal and shady without blinking an eye. Illegal surveillance. Dismissive of interpersonal relationships that serve no purpose. With no time for emotional connection, Sloane regularly engages high class male prostitutes. Everything is a means to an end.

In a nutshell, If the titular character was male, this film would be less interesting.

Sloane’s behaviour is scandalous because she’s female. If it was a man, the film would have no substance. We’d be reading about it in real life, a documentary, not watching it unfold in a political thriller.  A political thriller well worth indulging in.

Miss Sloane is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

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