The Iron Lady DVD
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Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
Produced in 2011
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
After this remarkable film, it’s impossible to feel anything other than respect and admiration for one of the greatest women of the last half century (of course, I’m talking about Meryl Streep). Margaret Thatcher has been loathed and lionised in equal measure, but her on-screen portrayals have seldom risen above caricature. Streep’s flawless, Oscar-winning performance captures the zeal of the Iron Lady in her heyday, but also the humanity of her long twilight years into loneliness and dementia.
Director Phyllida Lloyd has received criticism for this latter aspect, in which a present-day Thatcher half-remembers, half-hallucinates her long journey from Grantham to No. 10, and struggles to come to terms with the loss of her husband. It’s an unashamedly personal portrayal which will frustrate viewers keen to settle political scores, but Abi Morgan’s script is less focussed on the rights and wrongs of 80s politics, and more on the woman who had the determination to push those policies forward, for better or for worse.
Milo Wakelin on 23rd March 2012
Author of 103 reviews
Starring the Oscar-winning Meryl Streep in an amazing central performance, The Iron Lady tells the story of ex-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising, intimate and poignant portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman.
The script was written by Abi Morgan (Shame, Birdsong), and depicts the elderly Dame Thatcher as a frail figure replaying key moments in her life, from her childhood years in the family grocer's shop through to her graduation from Oxford, her early working life and her decision to enter politics.
Her eleven-year stint in office is marked not only by her strictly conservative and hard-nosed leadership style, which earn her the nickname 'The Iron Lady', but also by spending cuts, strikes, the introduction of an unpopular poll tax and the Falklands War. Later, as her premiership is called into question, her previously loyal cabinet members - including Michael Heseltine (Richard E. Grant) and Geoffrey Howe (Anthony Head) - turn against her one by one, leading ultimately to her political downfall in 1990.
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Length: 104 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 widescreen
Cat No: P927601000
Format: DVD Colour
by Anon on 23rd March 2012
Personal feelings towards Margaret Thatcher tended to dictate many reviews of The Iron Lady - Thatcherites disliked seeing the former PM as suffering from dementia in ... Read on
Personal feelings towards Margaret Thatcher tended to dictate many reviews of The Iron Lady - Thatcherites disliked seeing the former PM as suffering from dementia in late age, while her detractors wanted the film to be a hatchet job. A shame, as they ignored arguably the best performance of the year, and a fresh portrait of one of world politics’ most controversial figures.
Meryl Streep, whose performance has won pretty much every acting award going, is extraordinary - she effortlessly captures Thatcher’s distinctive voice and gestures, while offering a new take on the subject. Taking Thatcher from fresh-faced politician to confused senior citizen, it’s a masterclass in how to portray a well known figure without teetering into caricature. Jim Broadbent offers touching support as the loyal Denis, as does Olivia Colman as the daffy Carol. While director Phyllida Lloyd stresses Thatcher’s steely determination (notably during the Falklands campaign, now more topical than ever), she does not ignore her foibles - the cruelty with which she dresses down a cabinet minister is especially uncomfortable. Whatever your opinion on Thatcherism, The Iron Lady is a complex depiction of a woman who changed Britain forever. Hide