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Miss Sloane review: Digging some dirt on Capitol Hill

 

By Damon Smith

Portrayed to icy perfection by two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Sloane is a cut-throat lobbyist, who shrewdly anticipates her opponents' moves and devises cunning counter-measures as she manipulates the power players on Capitol Hill.

Elizabeth's current firm of Cole Kravitz & Waterman, headed by George Dupont (Sam Waterston), implores her to lobby against the contentious Heaton-Harris bill, which proposes more rigorous background checks for firearm purchases. She refuses and defects to rivals Peterson Wyatt, run by Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong), taking with her four ambitious juniors: Alex (Douglas Smith), Brian (Ennis Esmer), Franklin (Noah Robbins) and Lauren (Grace Lynn Kung).

Her personal assistant Jane (Alison Pill) refuses to bite the legal hand that feeds her and remains at Cole Kravitz & Waterman. In modest, new surroundings, Elizabeth tests her reputation as a woman by marshalling support for the bill. Her tactics reap rewards and, in retaliation, Dupont searches for evidence of illegal practices that will force his former golden girl to stand trial at a hearing chaired by Congressman Ron M Sperling (John Lithgow).

Miss Sloane unfolds largely in flashback in order to conceal scriptwriter Perera's sly plotting.

Four stars

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