John Madden, Jonathan Perera and Jessica Chastain‘s Miss Sloane (Europacorp/Film Nation, 11.25) is a moderately decent governmental potboiler. But it feels more like a cable series pilot than a theatrical stand-alone. A couple of critic friends were creaming over it — my reaction was more circumspect. It’s very plotty, very Aaron Sorkin-esque, very Newsroomy. Except the setting is a progressive D.C. lobbying firm instead of a Manhattan cable news station.
I’m presuming that women will like Chastain’s steely, take-no-prisoners samurai personality and maybe some guys, but it’s basically a two-hour pilot for a Showtime series about a ruthless but effective superwoman lobbyist who cuts through the bullshit and always aces her enemies, even though she has no life, pays for sex and takes pills to sleep (or is it to stay awake with?). But every week she wins.
Somebody really should pitch this — seriously. Brittle, tough-as-nails super-lobbyist who advocates for the right things and pisses off the male establishment. Tough shit, guys, but this lady will leave welts on your ass.
It’s definitely not Michael Clayton (which one critic friend compared it to), and it’s a whole different package than what Spotlight served or had in mind, and Chastain, trust me, played a much cooler character in Zero Dark Thirty. She’s basically playing Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom but with a different set of hang-ups and much hotter gams and a totally killer wardrobe. The presence of costars Sam Waterston and Allison Pill also reminded me of The Newsroom.
TheWrap‘s Alonso Duralde was spot on when he wrote the following: “If this were a TV pilot, we could at least sit back and wait for the character’s vulnerabilities and backstories to emerge, but in the screenplay by first-timer Jonathan Perera, we get all the quirks and none of the depth.”