Following a pair of sojourns to the adorable Marigold Hotel, John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) takes a giant step forward with this perfectly timed tale of how to draw and quarter a lobbyist. “She pees standing up,” is how one of her colleagues describes Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), an influence peddler who, not unlike Donald Trump, rides herd over a team of young apprentices — in this case, waging war against the “guardians of the second amendment.” As the kingmaker who can’t make it through a 16-hour workday without ingesting a fistful of speed, Chastain’s over the top performance is perfectly-pitched. Plot strings begin to fray when the high-priced male prostitute (Jake Lacy) whose services she regularly procures accidentally spots her from across the room at a society gala and stops just short of letting out a taxi whistle to attract her attention. Luckily, a couple of nifty third act twists help to right the minor imbalance. (2016) — Scott Marks
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