British Prime Minister (from 1979 - 1990) Margaret Thatcher biopic with the great Meryl Streep playing the titular Iron Lady. Tells Thatcher's story via flashback, including the lead-up to Britain's controversial involvement in the Falklands War in 1982. Jim Broadbent plays her husband Dennis. Now playing nationwide, click for movie times and trailer.
It’s hard to conjure up an actress that could better Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in this biopic, told through a political highlights reel intercut with a dreary tale of aging and self-reflection. From her first chaotic steps into the governmental ‘mad house’ to her frail final years battling geriatric psychoses, Streep never falters.
Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t compliment her, hardly ever taking the time to capitalise (pun intended) on the significant turning points that defined Thatcher as a relevant political force. Numerous side characters are examined with little depth, a fact that becomes obvious when the film tries to associate them with some heavy importance.
A few scenes did triumph, however, despite being few and far between. With the aid of educated advisers, Thatcher’s presentational transformation from delicate housewife to dominant MP is highly fulfilling (including a voice-training segment that they probably labelled ‘The Queen’s Speech’). It’s also hard not to fist-pump in satisfaction when she performs a verbal vasectomy on her chauvinistic opponents.
As a biopic, The Iron Lady does the bare minimum of what it needed. Paradoxically, Maggie Thatcher was never one to tolerate those who did ‘the bare minimum’.