Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Iron Lady - DVD Review

Starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Nicholas Farrell, Richard E. Grant, Anthony Head, Iain Glen, Harry Lloyd and Alexandra Roach.
Directed by Phyllidia Law.


This movie, despite all its problems, is still worth seeing for the showcase of Meryl Streep. Streep is fantastic here as Margaret Thatcher, embodying the tough, complex, bold leader who inspired so many punk rock songs. Wait, I mean...

The movie itself falls into one of the unfortunate traps of biopics. How shall we frame this? They opt to go for the flashbacks-within-flashbacks route, hopskotching from Thatcher's later years where she may be suffering from dementia (she is still alive, by the way). We go back to her idealized youth, where she was inspired by the stiff-upper-lipped leaders that led Britain to victory in World War II. We are able to watch her rise and fall from politics.

But almost half of the running time is dedicated to her old-age Alzheimerish speculation, as she's often visited by her late husband Denis (Jim Broadbent). Let's cover her in the 1960's. And here she is old. And here's how the 1970's went for her, montage-style, and here she is being old some more.

And despite all that, I assume Streep will be great every time in roles like these, and she is. It may not be terribly enlightening as a history lesson, but it's enveloping as an actress displaying her craft.

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