Movie Review: “The Iron Lady”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 12:00 am.

(Photo: Film4, UK Film Council)

Summary: The biopic on the first and only female Prime Minister of the U.K., Margaret Thatcher, shows the controversial politician reflecting on her life while nearly senile and dealing with the death of her long-time husband.

Review: The Iron Lady, which stars the Aretha Franklin of acting, Meryl Streep, as Margaret Thatcher, is another film in the Oscar race. However, the praise for the Phyllida Lloyd-directed film is solely for Meryl Streep’s performance rather than for the movie as a whole.  Due to its mild script, casual avoidance of the controversies that surrounded Thatcher and not teaching audiences anything new, The Iron Lady does not live up to its potential.

All of the elements were there for a biopic home-run: Meryl Streep, big Hollywood budget and iconic figure in history. But somewhere between the montages of the U.K. in unrest and flashbacks to a conservative Thatcher, Iron Lady went down arduous biopic lane, which has known the likes of Amelia, Evita and the hodgepodge of Cadillac Records—all movies that had strong actors but a dead script.

The most troublesome element of Iron Lady is the iron-clad praise of Thatcher being the first and only female Prime Minister of the U.K. Despite the history, she was a rigid conservative known for disregarding the poor in a way that would make the current Republican candidates blush. Thatcher being the “first” is not enough to ignore her failed and hurtful policies.

Nonetheless, the script, Margaret Thatcher, the history—that’s all the background. The Iron Lady is solely about Meryl Streep landing her third Oscar. But it’s going to be a tough battle to beat out Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn and what seems like the current favorite, Viola Davis in The Help.  However, it is still fascinating to watch Streep’s transformation, saving an otherwise forgettable film.

The Iron Lady is in theaters Friday.

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haters b ware…. Said on

Seems like Meryl Streep is up for an Oscar every year. Hope Viola Davis wins though. Her performance in The Help was outstanding.