The life of Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the longest-running one, presented in a really “interesting” movie.
I think that it is well understood by everyone, that thanks to Meryl Streep, who holds the leading role, this movie just might be worth seeing. Without her, Thatcher remains a firm and conservative politician, hated by many and appreciated by few; notorious for her strictness and absoluteness in all decisions, which make her a less attractive personality and a loathed political leader.
This movie is a combination of Thatcher’s political and personal life. Thatcher in her late 80’s is suffering from dementia and is sinking into her own memories of childhood and her glory days as Britain’s Prime Minister. The whole movie is based on the typical structure of a combination of her actual life and the necessary flash backs. The screenplay strongly emphasizes the woman behind the “Iron Lady”, trying to show more of the personal life than the political one.
Meryl Streep who incarnates the “Iron Lady” is, as always, perfect, and proves to everybody once again that she is worthy of her powerful status in the world of cinema. The resemblance is so remarkable that there are moments in which the audience feel like they are a watching a high-budget documentary, and not a film. Also, the whole supporting cast was well chosen, with Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher and Susan Brown as June, Thatcher’s daughter, backing Meryl Streep effectively.
On the downside, the movie seemed somewhat less British than I expected it and far less politically orientated than I wanted it. It seemed more like an American feature, even though director, Phyllida Lloyd made her name as a British theatre director and with Mamma Mia being her latest film.
Overall, “The Iron Lady” is another movie that proves Streep’s perfect performance, a film that will make someone Google the Falklands War and remind us that being a leader, good or bad, is always a hard thing to do.
The Iron Lady (film) at IMDb
Margaret Thatcher Foundation
Margaret Thatcher at British Prime Minister’s Office official website
Phyllida Lloyd: how to humanise Margaret Thatcher at The Guardian
Margaret Thatcher: a feminist icon? at the Women’s Blog with Jane Martinson (The Guardian)
People who have played Margaret Thatcher at The Telegraph