The Iron Lady (2011)
A flashback look at the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, told from her dementia-stricken perspective.
I thought this movie was touching, and nothing like I expected. I had envisioned some type of political biopic strewn with scenes of political confrontation in the House of Commons as well as the physical violence which characterised the street battles of the UK during the 1980s. Instead, we were confronted with an old-woman spending her days shuffling around her London flat trapped in a private hell of vivid nostalgia. These flashback scenes are shot with panache and performed with feeling – something which surprised me. This is no ‘gimmicky’ film and makes little to no attempt to ride on the reputation of its main protagonist at all.
Meryl Streep is outstanding as Lady Thatcher herself whilst Jim Broadbent is also on top-form as the wise-cracking spectre of her now-deceased husband Dennis. The superb Anthony Head, has a small but pivotal role as Thatcher’s number 2 – who eventually betrays her…..
So much of the movie is rather sad, yet there are uplifting moments: the unlikely romance of the Thatchers and some thumping ideological monologues from Streep being two which stuck in my mind.
It’s a movie which is involving and an emotional one to sit through. Don’t expect the UK-version of Ben Hur though…..