The Iron Lady
The Iron Lady
(M) Icon Films DVD/BD
Powerhouse actress MerylStreep won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance as the controversial, first and only female British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, in Phyllida Lloyd’s biopic The Iron Lady.
I had formed a picture in my mind of an influential, controversial leader in control of herself and others and was met instead with a depiction of the lady the way she is now: elderly, suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s, and no longer powerful or relevant.
The Iron Lady chronicles Margaret Thatcher’s life and work through a series of flashbacks; memories experienced by the now old and widowed Thatcher. Haunted by her late husband Denis (played by the brilliantly eccentric Jim Broadbent) she must learn to let go of the past. The slightly disjointed style of filming reflects Margaret’s confused mind.
Regardless of your political opinions, Thatcher’s rise to power is fascinating. The scene in which she is shown as a singular woman among countless men, being jostled in the halls of parliament is particularly powerful; conveying that power often comes at the cost of loneliness. A great deal of empathy is employed, though not necessarily sympathy.
For better or for worse, this is the way she is, and was. Streep as Margaret delivers this viewpoint impeccably: “Yes the medicine is harsh; but the patient requires it.”
Regret and loneliness are prevalent throughout and husband Denis’ parting shot (“You’re going to be fine on your own, you always have been”) sums up the sacrifices one must make to fight for what one believes in.
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