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“The Iron Lady” – Review (SO-SO)

January 15, 2012

There’s no doubting it now that Meryl Streep is probably one of the great actress of our generation. She can pretty much do anything; play ANYBODY, in any movie. So why Margret Thatcher? Can’t say that I’ve seen her play any British characters before, sure she played an Australia, but never a Brit. In a movie where it’s a predominately British cast and crew, it’s odd to have an American actress in the lead as a famous (or infamous) British Prime Minister.

The film tells the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. Margret Thatcher (Streep) would become the first female Prime Minster in Britain as well as the longest running candidate. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman, who embraced her power and ego perhaps too far.

The movies strengths come from its leads; Streep & Jim Broadbent give winning performance, no question there, but the films story structure is just too convoluted for it’s own good. In a way, the movie borrows too much from “Amadeus”. It begins with the near end of Thatcher’s life (she still alive though), but she’s going mad. Her madness, her old age, her hallucinations of her dead husband (Broadbent) makes her have these flashbacks of her career; her youth (young Margret played by Alexandra Roach), her early days in parliament, to the 11 and a half year run as Prime Minister. The problem though is that the movie only brief touches on her ‘accomplishments’.

There’s some crafty editing and well conceived shot compositions in this film.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice film to look at, I just wish it just wasn’t so long-winded in its structure. All in all “The Iron Lady” is really nothing more than a typical Oscar bait film. There aren’t many new grounds broken in this biopic except for the fact that you’ve got a brilliant lead actress and actual old age make-up that looks legit and not cluster of rubber smeared all over ones face, I’m looking at you “J. Edgar”. Great make-up really adds better depth to the actor’s performances and thank goodness it was visible here.


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