The Iron Lady

"Very Good"

The Iron Lady Review


A fairly straightforward character portrait without any real analysis or message, this biopic succeeds because of the translucent performance by Meryl Streep. While the script and direction are inventive, they're also oddly uncritical.

In present-day London, Baroness Thatcher (Streep) is battling delusions of her dead husband Denis (Broadbent), who triggers memories of her life in politics.

Growing up during the war, young Margaret (Roach) becomes increasingly involved in politics, catches the eye of young Denis (Lloyd) and moves up the ladder from MP to become Britain's first female Prime Minister. She was also the longest-serving PM in the 20th century, staunchly sticking to her guns through the Poll Tax strikes, Falklands War and privatisation of much of the British state.

Since the events are seen completely through Thatcher's eyes, the film never takes an antagonistic stand, so it sometimes feels like a portrait of St Margaret, with her pragmatic approach to the economy and resilient confidence.

But careful observation reveals just how disruptive she was to the UK economy, favouring the wealthy with her policies and using heavy-handed tactics against anyone she thought of as weak, from striking miners to the Argentine military.

Intriguingly, the film rarely lets Thatcher show any self-doubt, although Streep finds powerful ways of expressing the woman's soul in every scene, whether it's through a smiling glint or a welling tear. These things aren't necessarily affirming Thatcher's actions, although they seem to explain them to a degree. But Streep goes far beyond being a mimic in the role: the dialog (and that iconic voice) seem to flow naturally from within her, as does the firm resolution and unmovable belief that she's always right. Far right.

The cast around her is excellent. While Broadbent's role is a bit goofy and dreamlike, Colman is beautifully grounded as their daughter Carol. And the parade of famous political faces gives most actors the chance to transcend the Spitting Image-style make-up and hair. Speaking of which, even with the instantly recognisable hair, costumes and mannerisms, Streep is startlingly realistic as both the energetic young politician and the doddering old dame.

And maybe that's why this film needed to be made: to give Streep another character to master from the inside out.



The Iron Lady

Facts and Figures

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th January 2012

Box Office USA: $30.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $115M

Budget: $13M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Co.

Production compaines: Pathé, Film4, UK Film Council, Weinstein Company, The, Yuk Films, Canal+, CinéCinéma, Goldcrest Pictures, DJ Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Fresh: 106 Rotten: 101

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Producer:

Starring: as Margaret Thatcher, Anthony Stewart Head as Geoffrey Howe, as Young Denis Thatcher, as Denis Thatcher, as June, Alice da Cunha as Cleaner, Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Susie, as Alfred Roberts, as Young Margaret Thatcher, Victoria Bewick as Muriel Roberts, as Carol Thatcher

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.