The Iron Lady

16 Apr

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Synopsis: The Iron Lady is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century’s most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world.

Review: The story is done entirely in flashback as an aging Margaret Thatcher remembers key moments in her life and career as she suffers from Alzheimer’s and struggles with hallucinations of her dead husband Denis. The movie itself is not that great and at times slow paced.

There is a sad moment in the beginning of the film where we see the aged Thatcher buying milk in a grocery store unnoticed and unrecognized. Ironically she started out as a worker in her Father’s store and still to this day needs to know the price of everything. The only thing that she is oblivious to is the price she paid for her political career.

Meryl Streep: In my estimation is the finest character actress in modern American films. Her performance as Thatcher , like everything else she does, is spot on from here voice inflections to her make-up she doesn’t miss a beat. Although the film is all about British politics the film has nothing really compelling to hold your attention. That said Streep’s brilliant portrayal is so convincing you can see why she won an Oscar for it.

Jim Broadbent: Plays Denis Thatcher as a shadow under his wife’s career. He just gives in to the fact that M.T. as he calls her, is going to be Prime Minister and her family, children included are secondary. M.T.‘s son Mark for example is never seen, lives in South Africa and will have nothing to do with her. In her decline Mark makes excuses why he won’t come to visit. The movie also alludes to her strained relationship with her daughter Carol.

The story shows us how tough decision making made Thatcher both despised for her union busting conservative politics ( the I.R.A. bombings etc) and then loved by her battle in the Falkland Islands with her resolve that “The Falkland Islands belong to Britain, and I want them back!’’ Thatcher’s “Never compromise!” attitude cost her many friends and political allies. Wrong or right she never backs down and after serving as Prime Minister for a record 11 years she resigns after becoming unelectable.

The story chronicles her decline and quite frankly the way it is told is bland and has little except Streep’s performance which is worth a look see. Thatcher has hallucinations of her husband watching her throughout the story and has intimate conversations with him in her dementia. In short if you are a history buff or into political bios then by all means see it. If you are a fan of Streep by all means see it. The film can be rented on Netflix or your local RedBox and is also available on standard and blu-ray DVD.

Slow paced, historical bio.

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