Miss Sloane Blu-ray Review
Michael Clayton meets Erin Brokovich, with the political bent of The Ides of March
Miss Sloane sees Jessica Chastain delivering a commanding central performance in this compelling if bloated political thriller.Certainly the narrative has the same biting sharp-wittedness normally associated with Aaron Sorkin-like political scripts in the vein of The West Wing, although it can't quite reach - or maintain - that level of mastery of the genre, with a script that generally favours soundbites in-line with the lead character's ethos. Chastain scores as Sloane, a top lobbyist renowned for the effective - but cutthroat - methods she uses to win her client's battles. When she's hired to bury a bill to introduce background checks for gun ownership, she decides to take a stand for the underdogs, quitting her firm and facing tough opposition in her quest to - against the odds - get the bill through.Director John Madden has a distinctly hit and miss career behind him, scoring early with Shakespeare in Love, and, more recently, The Best Marigold Hotel, but floundering in the decades between. Thankfully he brings his A-game to Miss Sloane, crafting a solid political thriller which acts as a welcome star vehicle. It may not be Chastain's Michael Clayton (Clooney deserved an Oscar), but she charges an otherwise flabby and arguably overwrought narrative so intent on misdirection that it often shows its cards, with a fiery electric undercurrent. Indeed a little more character development would have made this a surefire Oscar nod for her, but it's a clever little chess-playing drama nonetheless.
Picture QualityEntertainment One deliver Miss Sloane to UK audiences on a Region B-locked Blu-ray complete with a strong 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation from the film's 3.4K digitally shot footage and 2K Digital Intermediate, framed in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen.
A very glossy video presentation
Detail is generally very good throughout, with strong facial observation lapping up the near-perfect 24/7 guise that Sloane maintains. The background textures are impressive too, with the film given a very slick, corporate look that makes its easier to appreciate the visuals. The colour scheme favours both glassy clinical and lavish deep wood environments with a few striking tones, not least Sloane's lipstick, as well as deep impenetrable black levels that afford strong shadow detail with no signs of any crush. Devoid of any obvious digital defects, it's a very glossy, frequently demo, video presentation.
Sound QualityThe soundtrack is a solid aural offering
The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a strong enough affair, which doesn't have a huge amount to work with, but certainly makes the most of what it does have, afforded a dialogue-heavy piece which is largely devoid of punchy effects and standout elements, but is still capable of crafting a decent atmosphere within which the story can unfold.
The score is perhaps the most standout element, giving the piece an almost thematic edge which drives it and gives it direction even when it wanders a little off-course, further affording the track some decent surround usage and rounding out a solid aural offering which does a good job but simply doesn't have anything demo worthy to play with.
ExtrasThere's only one extra, a 10 minute Behind the Scenes Featurette that offers cast and crew soundbites and brief filming footage, offering an overview of the production.
Blu-ray VerdictA solid political thriller which is a welcome star vehicle for Jessica Chastain
This Region B-locked UK Blu-ray release affords the film excellent video and good audio, and, even with just a single extra, it's a solid disc for a film that's worth checking out.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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