“THE IRON LADY” – Rating: 8 ½
If this movie was rated solely on acting, it would be a solid 10. Meryl Streep, not surprisingly, sets the bar for the finest of actors that would ever grace the silver screen. Her performance is flawless. She becomes Margaret Thatcher, personified, in her political years, and again, in her weak and feeble retirement, replete with forgetfulness, delusions and frustrations.
The movie is very good, but it could have been improved upon with better direction. In my humble opinion, too much time is spent in the script showing Thatcher’s old-age confusion rather than highlighting her years as a stone-hearted leader during the cold war era.
Yes, the picture portrays her staunch response to the Falkland Island invasion byArgentina, standing up to the male establishment, her rise to prominence (in which a younger actress portrays her early years) and her unwavering conservative values as a politician.
In parts, Thatcher’s speeches ironically sound more like today’s Republican candidates talking about holding down spending, supporting a free market, fighting labor unions and the incessant demand by the public to tax the rich. Yet, during her reign as Prime Minister, she managed to glean the respect from all sides of parliament as the British economy survived the crises.
But, too much of the movie was dedicated to delusional conversations with her dead husband, which distracted, rather than added to the depth of this woman’s character.
We learn much more about the Thatcher bio in this film, how she came from humble beginnings, fought her way to prominence of the objections of male MPs, how she was the object of bombings and violent street demonstrations, and grew into a state of memory loss during old age, much like her American counterpart, Ronald Reagan.
Streep may not receive the Oscar this year, but she certainly deserves it. It is one of her premier performances and worth the price of a ticket.