The Iron Lady (2011)

(Last Updated On: November 22, 2020)

Title:  The Iron Lady

Year: 2011

Genre: Biography | Drama |

Runtime: 105 min

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Starring:   Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant

6,4/10

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.

STRONG PERFORMANCE DOESN’T

SAVE WEAK DIRECTING AND WRITING

Blending past lives with an elderly one in dementia and hallucinating about her late husband, The Iron Lady strength is certainly in the performances and not the story. It follows Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister for Great Britain, who with her conservative vision brought different ideology of politics and rhetoric in the country.

The story is mellow and fairly confusing as it dips deep between three different timelines that don’t really point out when is when. Even if some scenes are strong and suitable for the character,  hallucinating her husband feels off-putting in a film about her politics. It spends times to explore her dementia and loneliness for a great part of the movie. The films show some part of her political career but don’t take a deep look on it to make it a great effort.  Then there are some scenes where we follow her at the beginning of her political career of a young thatcher, played by Alexandra Roach.

Jim Broadbent, playing her hallucinated deceased husband Denis Thatcher, makes a decent performance but Meryl Streep makes one of her best performances. She shines most during her scenes when she acts as prime minister.  Unfortunately, it’s just some part of the movie and doesn’t really make an appealing effort to elevate the film. And there are some archive photos of crowds and protesting, consequences of her actions just as there are some photos of IRA.

The story reminds with The Crown’s interpretation of the feminist prime minister in the series fourth’ season, played by Gillian Anderson. The make-up work on Meryl Streep is far better and has a stronger impact on Streep than what Gillian had during season four. There’s isn’t any strong narrative or red threads in the film and screenwriter Abi Morgan has struggled how to complete a story in an engaging way.  The directing is far from impressive as the plot gives some throwbacks to a past life in the most non-engaging way. If it would of a famous actress such as Meryl Streep or Jim Broadbent, the film wouldn’t have the attention it got. Strong performances but weak writing and directing destroy the potential of the film.

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