The Iron Lady review

Phyllida Lloyd
Meryl Streep
Jim Broadbent
Alexandra Roach
Rated: PG-13

I wonder if this film was made because Meryl Streep made a call saying she wanted another Oscar.

The Iron Lady follows the life of Margaret Thatcher in her later years after her time as Prime Minister of England. The focus was on her dealing with loss of her husband and wanting to still be the strong woman that led England through the 80s.

As the film goes on, it has many flashbacks to her as a young woman getting into politics to eventually running to be the Prime Minister. It then shows times of her running the country including many moments including the good, the bad and the ugly.

“The Iron Lady” felt very underwhelming and it seemed to suffer from the same thing that J. Edgar did. The focus didn’t seem to be on what made them famous as much as it did focus on their personal lives after their careers. With “The Iron Lady,” we only get a highlight reel for her time in office, more time is spent examining her declining health and her dealing not only with the death of her husband but also hallucinations because of her dementia.

It was hard to tell what the aim of the film was. It tried to show her in a sympathetic way at some points and in a negative iron fisted ruler at others. This seemed to throw the movie off balance and didn’t let it go to its full potential. I think if it had been more of a straightforward focus on her time as Prime Minister, where the audience could either love her, hate her or even love to hate her like the British people seemed to do. Either that or have it take place not long after her time in office, similar to how “The Social Network” was.

I can’t help but feel that the scenes with the hallucinations were mishandled as well. They seemed a bit forced and almost came off as a bit comical in some ways at times. This made it difficult to have sympathy for what was going on and I also questioned how much of her condition was true and how much was written for dramatic affect.

Meryl Streep is phenomenal in the role, though. As she does in her other works, she completely becomes Margaret Thatcher and displays the strength that the woman had. She steals the show from everyone else on screen which displays how good of an actress she is. Jim Broadbent is good as Thatcher’s late husband as well, showing the connection the two had.

The years where Margaret Thatcher ruled the country had so much going on and was full of things to base a movie around, it was too bad that the film didn’t focus more on her time in office. Unfortunately the film misses the mark and despite the great performance by Streep this film only comes in at a low 3 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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