Movie review: The Iron Lady
The talented Meryl Streep is everything you expect in the emotional bio-pic about Britain’s famous lady prime minister.
How can one woman embody another so perfectly? If it wasn't so fascinating, it might be a little bit creepy. Watching Meryl Streep transform herself into Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady isn't like watching a transformation at all, it just is.
In this divisive film about one woman's climb to be the most powerful female leader since the age of Queen Elizabeth, we see the humble beginnings of a grocer's daughter who just wanted to make her father proud.
Margaret Thatcher, who would later become Britain's first female prime minister, didn't want to end up like her mother, in the kitchen washing up, so she took on a life of politics, one that would become not only a passion but ultimately her life obsession.
A powerful working mom
Should I stay home or should I work? This is a tough question for many women, even today when it seems that with every decade glass ceilings are shattered.
Whether it gets easier to chase your ambitions in a field where women aren't generally making strides, a mother still must decide how much time she spends away from her family.
Margaret Thatcher, we see in this film directed by Phyllida Lloyd of Mamma Mia!, felt the pangs of guilt when she drove off every morning to head to Parliament. She was making a difference to her country and the world, but what about in her own backyard?
Unfortunately, the film doesn't take a stand on what the right choice is, for Margaret, or any woman. And as any working mom knows, it's different for everyone. At the end of the day, according to the great leader herself, you have to fight for what you believe in, because conviction defines character and without it, you are nothing.
For Thatcher, this is the purpose of living. To do something. And she did. The Iron Lady takes audiences on a tour of the prime minister's personal life and her political struggles behind the curtain. The question remains whether Thatcher's choices in office — or to even take office — were the right for her.
A beautifully shot bio-pic
Shot in a pieced together narrative that starts with Thatcher in her golden years, long after she left office, the story takes us into flashbacks to explain her childhood, early years in political service and finally her tenure as prime minister.
Jim Broadbent plays her husband Denis and offers much needed levity to the otherwise psychologically fractured story of this woman's life. Newcomer Alexandra Roach plays the concerned and serious young Thatcher with delightful confidence.
If you like bio-pics like J. Edgar, My Week with Marilyn and The King's Speech, or political films like Ides of March, The Iron Lady is a film for you. If you're not a bio-pic fan and politics aren't you bag, the film is worth seeing to watch Meryl Streep do what she does best — embody the spirit of her characters with a delicate honesty that makes her one of the finest actresses of our time.
Bottom line: If you heart Meryl (who doesn't?!), you'll love seeing her transformation into one of the most powerful women in politics in this emotional bio-pic about making a difference.