Sunday, November 27, 2016

Miss Sloane

Director John Madden’s tough, adult drama Miss Sloane ensures Jessica Chastain an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Chastain plays a ruthless D.C. lobbyist, who leaves her prestigious firm to work on a suit to curb gun purchases through background checks.  Her former firm takes the gun lobby’s side against her and instigates a Senate hearing on her past dealings.

Writer Jonathan Perera has provided Madden with an excellent story and script centered on the concepts that it’s preferable to commit career suicide than suicide by career and it’s necessary to always be one step ahead of one’s competition so you can play the trump card after they’ve think they’ve won. 

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, Alison Pill and John Lithgow all turn in powerful support performances.

If you enjoy intelligent drama, this film is for you.

I give Miss Sloane a 4.6 out of 5.


It’s extremely important for a film to set the right style or mood from the outset.  Unfortunately, Director Robert Zemeckis’ Allied does not have the right look in the opening scenes.  Instead of the gritty World War II ambience, it looks too crisp, like one of Zemeckis’ comedies. 

This is not the fault of Production Designer Gary Freeman’s sets, which are excellent, but more the doings of Zemeckis and Cinematographer Don Burgess, who specializes in “brighter” dramas and more uplifting fare.
 Allied is darker war-fare in which Marion Cotilliard is the only one totally up to the task as a French Resistor, who may or may not be a German spy.

Brad Pitt is more stiff than usual and only, occasionally, rises to the necessary intensity that is the necessary mood for the piece.

I give Allied a 3.8 out of 5.

The Edge of Seventeen

Writer/Director Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen has a good beginning and a good ending, but the middle section has entirely too much teenage angst to the point of being boring and nap-producing.  And, that’s despite the talent of the principal character, played by the talented Hailee Steinfeld.

Woody Harrelson does his usual great job at keeping the energy of the film up and newcomer (to me) Haley Lu Richardson, adds a fresh energy to the movie.
Bottom line, this is a fun piece of fluff that earns a 3.6 out of 5.