Pumped up to dizziness in the beginning, the film migrates to a clever strategy game containing very good surprises. === Survolté à en donner le tournis au début, le film migre vers un jeu de stratégie intelligent qui recèle de très bonnes surprises.
Overly heavy-handed and cliched at times in pushing the 'strong woman' line, but sufficiently calculating and engaging enough. Chastain occasionally oversteps, but proves the need for more of these types of roles with steely candour.
I enjoy how Chastain does a Joan Crawford-y spider woman in this and felt it wasn't a caricature like her ZERO DARK THIRTY monster wearing out her welcome. Although it takes a while for the nuances to show amidst the icy corporate aesthetic of this Aaron Soorkin-like universe the payoff was substantial mostly because the screenplay didn't reveal too much too soon. Sometimes being a patient viewer has it's virtues.
I love the fantasy genre. I dream of a White House like 'West Wing'. The problem is that there will always be people who are motivated by fear. They are easily manipulated by moneyed interests. If children can be slaughtered and nothing changes, then it would literally take an act of God to change it. Ms. Chastain is a wonder.
Chastain is fantastic, but that should come as no surprise (she often is). John Madden is his usually competent self and handles complex, heavy handed material with great confidence. Perhaps because of these two major players' quality it's so disappointing to see such a compelling a story completely thrown out of the window with a preposterous and unnecessary third act twist.
There is something very beautiful and quite complex about the eponymous character (masterfully played by Chastain).
It as if she fought the world by mimicating it, so mysterious yet so open at the same time and living by the art of lobbying, which is the new art of war.
It is a fine line between sacrifice and martyrdom that she walks, so self-conscious yet overwhelmingly faithful to those she (secretly) trusts.
Oh, I was so, SO close to liking this film. Jessica Chastain delivered her best performance to date, and the film had that no-punches-pulled, cynical style that I'm normally quite responsive to. But, when I really thought about it, I realized that the overemphasis on said cynicism robbed the film of real emotional stakes. Beneath the smart talk, it's as cold and heartless as the political machine it's criticizing.