Late 2016, the hashtag #NastyWoman briefly went ‘viral’ on social media. The phrase – directed at Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump during a presidential debate – was jumped upon by the marketing team for political thriller Miss Sloane. It’s a perfect fit. While Miss Sloane purports to be about the corruption of American democracy via lobbyists, the film actually shares a great deal in common with Mrs Clinton. It prioritises politicking over politics; this is a movie about gun control legislation without the courage to take an actual stance on the issue. It hijacks shuttered white feminism, where women CEOs – or presidents – replace any kind of attempt to dismantle patriarchal oppression. Most tellingly, it feels obsolete, centring on senate minutiae in an era where American democracy is being torn apart at its roots.
Anyway, besides this, the film is just okay. Jessica Chastain is great as the titular lobbyist, a drug-addicted workaholic who sees people as pawns in her fight to win another battle. But she’s stranded in a sub-par screenplay, that makes her the smartest person in the room by making everyone else dumb or idealistic (or both) while heavily foreshadowing every single one of its twists. Not nasty, just mediocre.