Set in the years after her exit from the public stage, Meryl Streep
stars as Margaret Thatcher - the former Prime Minister of Great Britain
who now finds herself shuffling around the house suffering from the
beginnings of mental decline. As she conducts imaginary discussions
with her deceased husband, Denis (Jim Broadbent), Thatcher flashes back
and forth between the great memories of her life and modern day.
If it wasn't for Streep, The
Iron Lady wouldn't be nearly
and comprehensive enough.
Director Phyllida Lloyd and writer Abi Morgan give us a movie more
about feelings than storytelling. Sure, we get to learn about
Thatcher's rise to power in a male dominated society, and the moments
of her life that defined her as a hero or villain (depending on your
political persuasion), but we see them in an impressionist-type
fashion. We get glimpses into the story, rather than the meat and
However, Streep is amazing enough to overcome the slightly better than
average movie to prove she might win her first Oscar since 1983 (her 16
nominations are more than any actor before her). No matter how light
the details might be, Streep is able to make Thatcher a fascinating,
compelling figure in every sense.
We feel some sympathy as she struggles with the loss of her husband and
difficulty moving on.
We jump back as Thatcher asserts leadership and guile in the toughest
of situations, and want to stand and cheer when the woman digs in and
begins the fight.
It's a mix of fragility and strength that makes the iconic figure feel
human and real.
Plus, let's not forget Alexandra Roach as Young Margaret, who has to
mix zeal, smarts and some inexperience to make us believe this young
lady is ready and able to do what some would think impossible. While
Streep's performance and interpretation of Thatcher is the one we will
remember, and the one getting all of the buzz, Roach proves to be an
excellent young actress who I want to see more and more in the future.
The Iron Lady
might be forgotten as a movie, but you won't be able to forget Streep's
performance, especially on Oscar night.
Iron Lady rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity