Let me start by saying Jessica Chastain is currently my favorite actress. So, when it came to what movie I was going to watch on my night off (with dozens that I wanted to see) I chose this one. I certainly don't fault her for making this a Butterless experience, I fault the script. This script is far too politically motivated and mostly very bland. It leaves us with so many holes and puts the audience in a very divisive situation. Some of this you may argue is the point of the film, but there are films that can articulate their point (e.g. Eye in the Sky) without causing a demonization of the other side or a stereotype of their own side. It felt like there was a lack of research and/or understanding for how this process of lobbying on Capitol Hill really works. I hated how the politicians just changed their position without us (audience) ever going deeper with a representative. The "scorecard" that hangs in the lobbyist "war room" is meant to help us as the audience understand the pressure and moving the needle. It totally fails in its role. Mostly because we never really go in to how such an insane issue is really changing hearts and minds. Oh, and what about the president? He/she has absolutely no role in this film. Look, I don't know much about politics, but it seems like there's a lot more to making decisions for our country than a strong-willed Jessica Chastain changing people's minds all by herself. Lastly, they tried to make this movie like a Mission Impossible, where Tom Cruise (in this case Jessica) reveals to you at the end how he (in this case she) knew every little detail that was going to happen and therefore made decisions that would ultimately take down the bad guy. Jessica does this for us, and it's BRUTAL. They tried to perfectly wrap up what shouldn't have been wrapped up.
Gun Lobby vs. Jessica Chastain. What do you think is really going to happen?
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
DVD or Streaming >27in
You can't fault anyone for not trying really hard to make this a memorable movie, but the problem usually wasn't the acting, it was the scripting and entirety of the movie that produced average acting performances. Mark Strong was the best actor in this film by far. Much more dynamic than anyone else.
I'm sure some of this movie is accurate and parts of it are over-exagerrated, but my problem with the morality had to do with the overdramatization of every single scene, causing characters to spiral. The male prostitute certainly didn't help my score either. The wrap-up of the film leaves many moral holes. Essentially a lot of people get away with a lot of stuff. It leaves you feeling a little slimy - just like Washington DC makes us all feel - so good job, I guess.
In a film constantly trying to be dramatic, you get the drama-filled music, but it's nothing worth noting for me because it stayed so constant.
Buyer beware. This film is written as an insight into DC lobbyists, but it goes over-the-top to make a point about gun rights. This film was seemingly scripted to cause division, and certainly not in a positive way. Our lead (Jessica), her supporting cast, and the film in general give you very stereotypical prototypes (overworked and underdog) as they fight against the "insane" gun lobby. To be clear, I don't own a gun and I'm down for stricter gun laws and it was even over-the-top for me.
This film is gorgeous. It's so clean in the locations and set ups. Love the simplicity of most shots. Definitely the best part of this movie for me.
Besides the political-spun narrative (which is overwrought), this film just doesn't have much. It's Jessica vs. the Gun lobby. And the studio is putting everything on her to make this work. Some of the research this film did (or I should say didn't do) hurt me. The simplicity of some of the film's most important lines are what a middle school political science classes would teach.