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The Iron Lady

Meryl Streep , Jim Broadbent , Phyllida Lloyd    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, takes a less exuberant tack in this unexpectedly poignant biopic. In the script, written by Shame's Abi Morgan, Lloyd depicts the elderly Dame Thatcher (Streep in a thoroughly convincing performance) as a frail figure replaying key moments in her life while her mind still continues to function. Her trajectory begins with grocer Alfred Roberts (Downton Abbey's Iain Glen), who became the mayor of Grantham, instilling in his daughter, Margaret (Alexandra Roach), a passion for politics. After graduating from Oxford, she felt ready to enter the fray, at which point she met Denis Thatcher (Harry Lloyd), who cheered her along on the road from Parliament to 10 Downing Street, where they lived during her time as Britain's first female prime minister (Jim Broadbent portrays the grey-haired and ghostly Denis). While closing mines, dodging IRA hits, and overseeing a war, the blue-clad titan built alliances with Airey Neave (Nicholas Farrell) and Geoffrey Howe (Anthony Head), but she would lose them both. If her will was strong, she had no time for feminine niceties like conciliation and forgiveness. The film goes on to suggest that she never cultivated the kinds of female friendships that might have sustained her in retirement, though her daughter (Tyrannosaur's Olivia Colman) did what she could. Instead, Denis remained her closest confidante until his departure, after which she had nothing but fading memories. The upshot is an uneasy combination of admiration for her leadership qualities and disappointment in her interpersonal skills. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

From the Studio

THE IRON LADY is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Two-time Oscar® winner 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The movie that nearly started a war March 13 2012
When I think about this movie I am filled with a sense of inner conflict.

On the one hand I am highly impressed with Meryl Streep's performance, for which she has at long last and deservedly won her third Academy Award after a 30 year gap, and after being nominated for the Academy Award a record seventeen times.

Once every two years she is nominated for an Academy Award. Only Katharine Hepburn has more with four.

Other directors have made movies about our leading political figures. Often these movies are not flattering portraits. Oliver Stone made a satirical comedy about G W Bush, which I found highly entertaining, somewhat of a caricature. Michael Moore made a far more scathing movie Fahrenheit 911. Then we have Primary Colors where where John Travolta played a played a Presidential candidate much like president Clinton. Stone also directed Nixon, a somewhat sympathetic picture of a character many regarded as villainous. Even though these portraits were not flattering you could detect some love or least amusement for the subject.

Now with Iron Lady, we have a movie which defines its subject through the lens of disease, presumably Alzheimer's, although it never states the exact disease. The movie starts out promisingly enough with Thatcher, the grocers daughter, buying a bottle of milk, unrecognised and confused at a local grocery store.

Streep conveys every nuance of Thatcher extremely well. The actor truly becomes the character, capturing, the tone, the accent, the gestures, the body language impeccably.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Streep is great April 11 2012
Meryl Streep stars in this bio pic of Margaret Thatcher as the elderly lady, suffering from dementia, remembers key moments of her past. We see young Margaret, a grocer's daughter, in her first political campaign, when she meets her beloved husband (later played by Jim Broadbent), and her eleven years as Prime Minister with its struggles and triumphs; but mostly, we see her deteriorating health and increasing frailty.

I was absolutely stunned by Streep's impersonation of Thatcher; aided by incredibly believable make-up, she looks and sounds just like her and gives a thrilling performance. It is an example of the finest acting and I'm glad she was rewarded with an Oscar, but I wish the role had been played by a British actress instead. Jim Broadbent, as Denis Thatcher, plays his usual, jovial character and, while very likable, reminded me of silly Horace Slughorn from `Harry Potter.'

The script was underwhelming in scenes depicting Thatcher's public life, but it was excellent in the very moving scenes of her current life as a delicate, rather pathetic, old lady. All in all, I enjoyed it but think it could have been better.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
As someone who has considerable respect for the historical and political achievements of Dame Thatcher, I found this movie to be a fitting tribute to her life. While the acting talent of Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent as the two main stars in this 'biopic', make this movie a winner, there are other features that make it stand out. One, it provides some useful insights into who Thatcher was and what she became long before the Russians nicknamed her "The Iron Lady". She is cast as an individual who had a vision to become successful the old-fashioned way: hard work, honesty, decency, and determination. Two, the film provides a decent description of the obstacles she had to overcome in order to stand out in a predominately male world. Three, the viewer gets to see how Thatcher catapulted on to the political stage as a seemingly sibylline figure with a timely message for a failing British society: less government, more personal initiative. Four, the film, while hallmarking her successes in getting Britain back to respectability internationally, offers us a sobering glimpse at her downside. She could be mean, churlish, stubborn and hard-bitten in how she chose to deal with colleagues within her cabinet. When her monetarist policies started to backfire in 1990, the caucus turned on her as it did with Heath back in 1977. Five, Thatcher is the narrator in the story who is reflecting on those halcyon days when nothing could go wrong because her beloved husband Denis was beside her and the British people were buying into her privatization schemes. Tragically, her retrospective view has become befuddled by early onset dementia. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to get a good overview on the life of a very clear-thinking but stubborn leader who came along at the right time and exited because of her unwillingness to change over public policy. I, also, recommend the second volume in her autobiography, "The Downing Street Years".
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2.0 out of 5 stars Watch it on TV July 13 2014
By Canuck Teach TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Slow, slow, low - meandering.. I don't get it.. great acting by Streep, as usual, but the script is a dud.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't enjoy this Jan. 24 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Meryl Streep is a great actress but we only watched the first 20 minutes or so.
I didn't like the stepping back and forth. Wasn't very enjoyable but some might like it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Keeper Jan. 13 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I'm sure that a great deal of artistic liberty was taken for this movie. However, I liked the respectful humanising of Margaret Thatcher and her family. And well, Meryl is Meryl.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good movie, Meryl Streep is a fantastic actress
Published 20 days ago by Cynthia Chan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant performances!
Published 29 days ago by Maria Vincelli
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
poor presentation of great lady
Published 1 month ago by KATHERINE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie with great acters
Published 1 month ago by George Odeh
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Loved Streep's acting but the script was slightly long and boring.
Published 3 months ago by S. Benedetti
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
un très bon film, on y voit la vie politique et personnelle de Margaret Tatcher et Meryl Streep y est excellente comme toujours.
Published 9 months ago by Gabrielle Duval
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of good plastic (DVD)
This film had a great title and great actors and lots of money thrown at it. So what went wrong? What went wrong, is that someone does not know how to make a movie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep - hit it right on!!
I enjoyed this movie - if you are Meryl Streep fan - this is one of her best works. Cheers.
Published 12 months ago by RobbieRob
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Being a huge MT fan, I thought it was going to be in bad taste. But it wasn't. Some wonderful one liners, that sadly show that the world could do with a leader like her today.
Published 14 months ago by CCW
5.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep Nailed It!
Her performance was wonderful! Fantastic film! I liked that they used flashbacks interlaced with the present day to tell the story rather than a linear biopic.
Published 14 months ago by Courtney Beatty
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