The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13   |    |  Biography, Drama


The Iron Lady (2011) Poster

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.


6.4/10
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  • Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady (2011)
  • Vera Farmiga at an event for The Iron Lady (2011)
  • Harry Lloyd and Alexandra Roach in The Iron Lady (2011)
  • Leelee Sobieski at an event for The Iron Lady (2011)
  • Meryl Streep at an event for The Iron Lady (2011)
  • Meryl Streep and Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011)

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Director:

Phyllida Lloyd

Writer:

Abi Morgan (screenplay)

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13 January 2012 | DJRMewzique
5
| An Excellent Portrayal Which Teaches Us Nothing.
At last, the long-awaited film of the life of Margaret Thatcher arrived in theatres and, more importantly, the long-awaited performance of guaranteed-another-Oscar-nomination Meryl Streep.

With a bit of a thud.

Entering the theatre, I hoped this film would be an entertaining history lesson on the reign of the much loved/hated Thatcher, as I remember her being in power, but as I was a kid, I remember little about any details of her days ruling the UK. However, by the time the credits rolled, I felt I didn't learn very much. At all.

Early reviews critiqued this film for focusing too much on Thatcher in her later years, stricken with dementia. This is couldn't be any more true. In a very clichéd, seen-it-all-before fashion, Thatcher's life is rolled out in fragmented segments as an older Thatcher reminisces with the ghost of her late husband, played by Jim Broadbent.

Yes, The Iron Lady is primarily portrayed as a woman who speaks with a hallucination of her husband, thus making her flashbacks seem less like fact and more like fanciful bit memories of a crazy person. Very short, sporadic flashbacks that don't offer up much detail, nuance or information and insight into the woman herself. It was more like looking through a flashback of headlines that lead you to skim through the article rather than reading it.

And such a delivery is a real disservice not just to an audience craving some real glimpse into the life of the first female leader of the Western world, but to both Thatcher and Meryl Streep themselves, whose riveting performance is lost in a film with no real direction, focus or substance.

There is no doubt that the Golden-Globe-nominated Streep is a lock for her seventeenth Oscar nomination, as her transformation into the titular woman of iron is extraordinary. Sadly, I cannot say the same about the film.

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