Elizabeth Sloan (Jessica Chastain) is the best lobbyist money
can buy. She's not just
competitive, she's completely ruthless.
Her self-avowed method is to figure out what the opposition is
doing, and then stay one step ahead of them.
You can surprise them, but they can't surprise you.
She also says that she likes to keep her inner circle very
tight, meaning that even her own employees are on a “need to know”
basis. She runs them
ragged and rules over them imperiously, but they are willing because
they know she's a proven winner, and they want to be on a winning
team, because it's good for their own resumes.
Ah, but what happens when Miss Sloan, who has been married to
her career all her life and has no family and no close friends,
either, no hobbies and no diversions----decides that she's made enough
money? Does she then
enlist to fight for a cause that she truly believes in?
Like a gun control bill that has never been able to get through
Congress because of the NRA lobby and the 2nd-amendment flag-wavers?
Yes, the issue is guns, which itself engenders as much emotion
as a school shooting. People
on both sides are intransigent and personally invested and utterly
uncompromising. So how to
lobby the members of Congress to support a bill that is bound to meet
with formidable opposition at every turn?
Ah, that's where our indefatigable Miss Sloan comes in.
The tension level is high, the dialogue is staccato, the stakes
are life-changing, and there are lots of shenanigans on both sides.
Yes, if you're perceived to be the leader of the opposition,
then they go after you personally, and nothing is considered out of
bounds. There's secret
surveillance and moles in the enemy camp, personal documents used as
indictments, and after a while the participants get the feeling that
while they think their position is the principled high ground, their
tactics have descended into the Abyss.
Jessica Chastain is quite credible in this role as the
human-dynamo big-time lobbyist. We
wonder, with all that intelligence and all those street smarts, what
really makes her tick. And
we might be afraid to find out that “there's no there there.”
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is also compelling as the staff member who did
indeed have something personal at stake, which she tried in vain to
conceal. And who would
have believed John Lithgow as a sleazy Senator?
Get ready to be taken on a fast ride that hurtles along at such
dizzying speed that you're always kept guessing what's around the next