Saturday, December 10, 2016

Miss Sloane

Plot: Miss Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a high powered lobbyist working on a high-profile gun control law. She steam-rolls over obstacles as she fights the NRA. It shows the fast-moving tough and strategic moves of the competing lobbyists. Miss Sloane is tough and not encumbered by morality. At the darkest moment, there is a twist ending.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: The character of Miss Sloane is so restless, confident, and relentless that she is fun to watch. She is the smartest and the most hard-working. Jessica Chastain is fun to watch as she plays this over-the-top tough girl.

Miss Sloane is a sort-of superhero of Washington -- a supernatural lobbyist. Instead of bashing buildings, the battles on TV new shows, and they sling twisted half-truths at each other. Their weapons are dirty tricks and media theater. I thought this was great. Wife Jenny thought some of this was dull -- guess that is why smashing buildings is more popular -- easier to understand.

Even before I looked it up, I knew the character was written by a man. She is the male vision of the perfect woman: exactly like a man except in a pretty body. She is tough, and strong, and bold, and smart, and resolute, and pretty-much exactly like the male hero ideal -- except she is a sexy girl too. Like Lara Croft. Would a realistic female hero really be seeing prostitutes?

All the talk in the press about Miss Sloane being a new kind of hero is ironic in that way. In the movies press, director Madden says the opposite that usually male heroes are this dark and flawed.

Angelina Jolie's character in salt was originally written as a male. Would this movie have been as good if the genders were reversed?  Probably -- the clever plotting was the interesting part. Miss Sloane really didn't have any female characteristics or gendered back-story that motivated her. If there was a difference, it was the Miss Sloane was a-social or even anti-social -- she would double cross people and trick people to win. She was such an individualist or even sociopath.

In the radical feminist mindset, there isn't a difference between genders and a hero is a hero, for example Katy Ledecki swims like male swimmers, because all superfast olympic swimmers swim in the same way. In this sense Miss Sloane is the evolution of androgynous amorality. Probably not a role model for anyone -- although Miss Sloane is more Leaned In than anyone else.

Having said that, it was fun to watch. I liked it.

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, John Lithgow

Directed by:
John Madden

Written by: Jonathan Perera

The Visuals:
No special effects. Some nice facial shots. 

3.0 stars: Good story. Nice twist ending. 

More: Jessica Chastain describes her character like this: “It’s an ambitious, over-prepared, one-step-ahead-of-you woman that actually mentors other women and takes them under her wing. Elizabeth Sloane operates at a much faster engine than I do…” link
Even More: Writer Perera said this: “It seemed like very fertile ground for a script. We’ve seen the politicians front-and-center in shows like ‘The West Wing’ and various movies as well. What we haven’t seen are the power-players behind the scenes, trading in influence, pulling the strings…”