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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Effective Review of a Remarkable But Stormy Public Life
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...
Published 21 months ago by Ian Gordon Malcomson

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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The movie that nearly started a war
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...
Published on March 13 2012 by L. Power


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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
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: The Iron Lady (DVD)
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.

What happens though, as you continue to watch, too much of the story is frittered away on depicting Thatcher as she is now, her disease, imaginary conversations with her long dead husband, living in the past, with occasional flashbacks, to the significant events of her political life, the romance with Denis, her rise to power, the various crises while she was in office, terrorist attacks, the Falklands War, the H Block protest, which escalated the tensions in Northern Irealnd, and so forth, and ultimately her fall from grace.

I found this focus on defining the character by her disease extremely annoying and tiresome, and a huge mistake by the screenwriters to spend almost 50% of the time focusing on the disease while while forwarding through the significant events. The Faklands war is compressed to about five minutes. The H Block protests last about thirty seconds.

I lived in the UK for the latter part of her leadership. Her insistence on an unpopular tax was the beginning of her downfall, and the cause of her being deposed as leader through the usual shenanigans. Here again we have very short treatment of what could have been great drama in favor of promoting the disease.

When this movie was released several months ago in Argentina, it reportedly escalated tensions in Argentina. A journalist in the Falklands made an unflattering comment about the current female president. There were threats of invasion, and death threats against the journalist. It appears that she knows how to work the situation. Thankfully, this movie did not start a war.

Iron Lady could have been a much better movie with a shift in focus away from the disease.

Recently, I listened to an interview Streep did on the (NPR Fresh Air program), shortly before the Oscars. It was fascinating to learn how she puts together a character, and how she captured all those aspects of Thatcher's voice and rhetoric, the vocal coaching Thatcher underwent to moderate the strident early vocal style. How Thatcher had enormous lung power. People would wait for a break in breath to interrupt, but she would just keep going, much to their frustration. It discussed Streep's entire career. It was extremely well researched. Catch it if you can.

I think most people will appreciate Streep's performance, but probably will not like the movie overall. I will not watch this movie again. I hope that future screenwriters and directors will have more sympathy and sensitivity for their subject than this.

If not for Streeps performance this would be a one star review. Her longtime hairstylist also won an Oscar for this movie.

Hope this was helpful.
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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
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Iron Lady (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars An Effective Review of a Remarkable But Stormy Public Life, July 18 2012
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady (DVD)
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't enjoy this, Jan. 24 2014
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
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
By 
UnderGrace (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
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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1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of good plastic (DVD), Nov. 25 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
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. You might think that they were trying to be artsy-fartsy; however I think it was a thorough lack of movie making skills.

For those who lived through the era they would be disappointed because nothing of any interest or any of the special highlights of Margret's life was displayed. I personally did not mind what was not shown. It was their hodgepodge chopped up moved back and forth through time inconsistent nonsense that not only ruined this film but any film they would've made on any subject. I put the blame squarely on Phyllida Lloyd - Director, Abi Morgan - Writer (screenplay), Damian Jones - Producer, Elliot Davis - Cinematographer, Thomas Newman - Composer, Simon Elliott - Production Designer, and Justine Wright - Editor.

To keep you from having to guess what I'm talking about and actually watch snippets of this movie I'll tell you. As filler it shows a ditzy old Margret played by Meryl Streep who flashes back in time to have the real story "snippets of her life" displayed played by Alexandra Roach. Alexander does all the real parts in Meryl Streep gets the "Saturday Night Live parts."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep - hit it right on!!, Oct. 15 2013
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This review is from: The Iron Lady (DVD)
I enjoyed this movie - if you are Meryl Streep fan - this is one of her best works. Cheers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Sept. 6 2013
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This review is from: The Iron Lady (DVD)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep Nailed It!, Aug. 18 2013
By 
Courtney Beatty (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady (DVD)
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.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Iron Lady - L. Power review is all one need read, July 14 2013
This review is from: The Iron Lady (DVD)
Iron Lady.... Streep's performance is masterful. For a complete review, read the review by L. Power, which is very well written, I agree with every word and therefore there is no reason to repeat what has already been so very well stated. Iron Lady - powerful performance by M. Streep earning her a well deserved Oscar. The script?? questionable, disrespectful.. sad.
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The Iron Lady [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
The Iron Lady [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) by Phyllida Lloyd (Blu-ray - 2012)
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