Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Iron Lady

Year: 2012
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Alexandra Roach

Plot: The life story of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Review: From the moment I saw Meryl Streep in her makeup as Margaret Thatcher, I didn't think she resembled her at all. And I still don't. But to her credit, Streep is astoundingly good here.

The Iron Lady works mainly because of Streep's excellent performance as Thatcher, from her speech patterns and mannerisms to owning every scene she's in, and she's in most of them of course. I am not too familiar with the real Thatcher's character, but I can tell that Streep worked hard and did a great job on taking her role beyond just impersonating a popular figure. Streep has the charisma and screen presence to make her rendition of Thatcher truly memorable.

Lending some support is the great Jim Broadbent as Denis, Margaret's husband. Here, he is basically a part of her dementia as he's been long dead during her scenes in the present time. But his appearances, not unlike John Nash's imaginations in A Beautiful Mind, are downright hilarious and entertaining. Credit must also be given to Alexandra Roach as the younger version of Margaret.

However, despite Streep's excellent performance, The Iron Lady doesn't quite measure up as it doesn't give us the full story of the former Prime Minister. Yes, we get to see her personal life as the present day Thatcher, suffering from Alzheimer's, reflects on her upbringing as a grocer's daughter, to her meeting with Denis, to taking part in politics, fighting to make a career in a man's world, up to her resignation. However, it doesn't quite cover in extensive detail how she felt or thought during her tenure as the PM. Her many unpopular decisions, regarding the Falklands War, creating taxes the people didn't like and the riots that followed were just skimmed over. It would have been nice to get some insight as to how she came about those decisions instead of just watching her make up her mind and convincing her cabinet to follow. That being said, if you're someone who isn't familiar with history on Thatcher's rule as PM, you'd be a little lost as far as how her tenure was like back then.

Bottom line is, other than that drawback, Meryl Streep puts in yet another wonderful performance which just might earn her another Oscar. And for that, The Iron Lady is worth a looksee. (3.5/5)

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