Oscars Preview: 30 Movies to Watch Before the Nominations Come Out!

19 of 31

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Miss Sloane

What it’s about:

Miss Sloane follows the story of Elizabeth Sloane, a Washington D.C. lobbyist. Sloane has a reputation for being intense and Machiavellian in her work, and has even faced a trial regarding ethical practices. But then her consulting firm is approached by an organization heavily reminiscent of the NRA. They ask that the firm help them develop an idea of how to make owning a gun more appealing to women. Despite her trademark ruthlessness, she finds she cannot budge on the gun control, and chooses to leave her high-powered firm over it. She joins a small and lesser-known firm to develop a new and opposite idea. But Sloane finds that even on the ‘right’ side of an issue, she has to break a few rules.

Major Players:

Miss Sloane is directed by John Madden, who was nominated for Best Director in 1999 for that year’s Best Picture winner, Shakespeare in Love. Jonathan Perera wrote the script, and it was the first one he’d ever written. Two-time nominee Jessica Chastain plays the starring role of Elizabeth Sloane, and the supporting cast is made up of other well-established actors such as Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mark Strong.

What the Critics are Saying:

Miss Sloane fairs slightly worse than some of our other contenders as far as critical and audience reception. With a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63% on Metacritic, it’s significantly less well-received than other films on this list. But most critics from top publications have credited any success it may have largely to a strong performance from Chastain. Nigel M. Smith of The Guardian writes that Chastain “prevents a sometimes ludicrous script from veering off course with her forceful performance.” S. Jhoanna Robledo from Common Sense Media goes so far as to say that “Chastain is singularly responsible for elevating this film from a just-OK political drama/thriller to a compelling one.”

But as far as the film as a whole, many reviewers say the film was lacking. Variety’s Peter Debruge sums it up as follows: “…Miss Sloane is a talky, tense political thriller, full of verbal sparring and fiery monologues, undone by a really dumb ending.”

Possible Nominations:

Best Original Screenplay (Perera), Leading Actress (Chastain), Supporting Actress (Mbatha-Raw)