The Iron Lady
Some movies arrive pre-stamped with a consensus opinion. With "The Iron Lady," the consensus so far is
this: Meryl Streep excels as
Well, you know, she is good.
After all the lousy, technically slovenly work this hack has given us, it's about time. But I find the film itself more intriguing and, odd as it sounds, given its subject, delicate than its advance notice. Yes, it's a strangely de-politicized portrait of
"The Iron Lady" goes the way of
Streep's Thatcher is seen first as an octogenarian struggling with a failing memory after a series of strokes, slipping in and out of scenes from the past and her controversial glory years, when Thatcher ruled
Thatcher is taken aback at the price of milk these days, and as at least one English critic (
Streep dominates, though, and the reason "The Iron Lady" works has everything to do with a triumph of creative, exacting portraiture, physical as well as vocal, and to a fledgling film director's increasing confidence. This is stage veteran
At its best, it finds the little moments just before the big ones, revealed as Streep's Thatcher rattles around her central
Honestly, you can't win with political biopics; half your audience goes in mistrusting the effort in advance. "The Sun," Alexander Sokurov's remarkable film about the final days in the reign of Emperor Hirohito, was derided as hollow apologia by some, praised as poetic and shrewdly ambiguous by others (including me). It struggled for an audience. In its ambition and idiosyncrasy, "The Iron Lady" is hardly in Sokurov's league. Thatcher herself might characterize Lloyd's sophomore feature as slight. But it's an affecting piece. Sometimes a narrow slice of an epochal life suffices.
"The Iron Lady" Movie Trailer
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