In case you haven’t heard, Hollywood has pumped out a big-screen feature about a Washington D.C. lobbyist called Miss Sloane that stars, at her most severe, Jessica Chastain. Predictably, it seems to have a rather strong anti-gun agenda.
The movie has gotten mixed reviews after a limited open. It opens at theaters nationwide on December 9.
The plot goes like this: Chastain plays the titular Elizabeth Sloane, a powerful Washington lobbyist known for her ruthlessness and determination. She’s a no-personal-life type of character who lives for the peaks and valleys of her job that you’d typically find in a Aaron Sorkin script.
She and her colleagues at the Cole, Kravitz & Waterman consulting firm are approached by an organization that mimics the National Rifle Association and asked to devise a campaign to make gun ownership more appealing to women.
The previously hard-as-nails Sloane balks at the plan, saying she changed her views on gun ownership “somewhere between Columbine and Charleston” (a span of 16 years).
According to this review from the New York Times, “she now supports background checks for gun buyers. To the fury of her boss (Sam Waterston), she refuses, exits the firm in a huff, and joins a scrappy boutique firm on the opposite side of the issue.”
From there on, the Times says the movie falls apart—possibly turning the intended message on its head.
“Despite her principles, you still have the uncomfortable feeling that winning a fight matters much more to Elizabeth than the issues involved. She thinks nothing of betraying a friend if it advances her cause. She pressures the film’s most sympathetic character, Esme Manucharian (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a victim of gun violence, to tell her story on television.”
“Partly because “Miss Sloane” is more a character study than a coherent political drama, it fumbles the issue it purports to address, and it eventually runs aground in a preposterous ending. In light of the recent presidential election, it all feels like small potatoes.”