The Iron Lady [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
To make matters worse, the film then employs this technique during the flashback so there is a flashback within the flashback.
I liked the young Margaret Roberts (Alexandra Roach) growing up in a man's world where the expectations of women were to stay out of business and politics. Her bucking the system was inspirational and it would have been a better film had we seen more of this and less of Margaret thinking her husband was still alive.
The meat of the film picks up when she is the Education Secretary of the conservative party. England is facing a union strike crippling the nation. Marget doesn't like her party's leadership and decides to run for the leader of the Conservative Party. She correctly places herself in the hands of professions who tweak her for national appeal, including working on her shrill voice...but she keeps the pearls.
The movie relates to today. England was in a recession and people couldn't pay their mortgage. Margret wanted to cut government spending in the midst of a recession contrary to everyone else, including her own party who worries about re-election.Read more ›
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."
Most recent customer reviews
Wonderful acting by Streep.A once in a life time politican.& a great ladyPublished 8 months ago by Marlene Fletcher
Streep is totally Margaret Thatcher, at least in appearance and accent, unrecognisable as Meryl. Another tour de force for her. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Trim Vis 44