Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
The movie turns out to be a little better than the average. Starting from a romantic formula often seen in the cinema, it ends in the most predictable (and somewhat bland) way.
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene. Without a doubt the best part of 'The Iron Lady' is easily Meryl Streep's amazing and terrific perfomance but unfortunately? Besides that? There isn't anything much to it except her role and her devotion to the film plus the make up was insane but the film and the rest of the casting? Was pretty damn forgettable and below average.
It seems we can't just can't have a normal biographical movie anymore without flashbacks. The flashback style is done for the purpose of showing us how events in someone's past effected their later decisions. Seeing the retired senile Margaret Thatcher was really unnecessary to this film. Can you imagine a Reagan biography starting out with a senile Reagan not knowing he is no longer president and talking to dead people? Unfortunately the senility scenes are needed so we can get to know the character of Marget Thatcher because the main biography part is poorly done with an over abundance of "red meat" sound bites.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. I expected to see a "Paid for by Ron Paul" after that speech.For me, the film becomes watchable when Thatcher has to weigh her decision to go to war over the Falkland Islands. Streep gives us some wonderful performances. But when I see Matthew Marsh miscast as Alexander Haig, I have to ask, "What were they thinking?"I went into this film thinking "5 stars" but reality set in as they killed this film on the editing floor. Horrifically edited and badly written. Whose idea was it really to have Streep walk around in an old house coat with messed up hair looking acting like Edith Bunker? The scenes of Streep moving through a crowd of faces, speaking her thoughts was another idea that failed. The soundtrack during the file footage scenes was terrible. Streep had a few strong scenes, but not enough to save this film. My advice: read the book.No f-bombs, no sex, brief nudity on file footage.
I was surprised when I saw this movie and saw Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, mainly because I did not know that the former British prime minister was suffering from dementia. After watching the movie for the first time, I was curious to read some things and then I understood it. I went back to see the movie a second time, after a while, and only then I truly appreciate the work of this actress who, once again, shows us all her versatility. About Thatcher's life there is little to say. She is a contemporary public figure, almost all of us know her course and we have an opinion about her (positive or negative, it doesn't matter). This is an additional challenge for an actor but Streep has achieved it with great talent. The scenes with the elderly Thatcher are deeply disturbing because she is clearly confused and oblivious of reality because of the disease, that makes her vulnerable and dependent on other people's support. Its always difficult to see someone in this situation. These scenes still have one bad thing: when playing with constant temporal flashbacks, the film focus gets a little lost and divided between past and present, between the old Thatcher and the Thatcher who was head of government. This makes the film very confusing, especially for those who do not know well her action when she was in politics. Everything else in this film is good, from the scenarios to the way the film depicts the political action of the woman who most marked the 20th century for the British (just behind the beloved Queen Elizabeth, of course).
Not your average biographical picture, this film about the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is set in the 21st century with details about her life only told through flashbacks and faded memories. It is an approach that proved divisive, with many criticising the film for not just telling her story in a straightforward manner, however, the narrative style is actually one of the film's best assets. It provides an appropriately dreamy atmosphere with an ageing, senile Thatcher wandering around her apartment, confused about where she is, unable to recognise herself on television and often chatting with her deceased husband's imaginary presence. While most of Meryl Streep's plaudits have come from her nailing Thatcher during her years in office, Streep's performance is at its most touching in these senility scenes which paint a greater insight into her thinking than a conventional look through her past could possibly do. The approach is not, however, without its drawbacks. Nobody in Thatcher's life (give or take her husband) is fleshed out in any depth since they only ever pop up in scattered flashbacks. The film does not provide much detail on her life or career ambitions either due to all the cutting back to present-day Thatcher, however, as mentioned, this is not a typical big screen biography. Those interested in Thatcher's time in office may be better served by a documentary. For those interested in the effects of a turbulent political life on a lonely old woman though, this is a hard film to pass up. Streep's ageing makeup effects are especially remarkable.