The Iron Lady 2011

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(273) IMDb 6.4/10
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A look at the life of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with a focus on the price she paid for power.

Starring:
Anthony Head, Jim Broadbent
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 45 minutes
Starring Anthony Head, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Meryl Streep, Hugh Ross
Director Phyllida Lloyd
Genres Drama
Studio 20th Century Fox
Rental release 28 May 2012
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. D. M. Kirby on 10 Jan 2013
Format: DVD
Margaret Thatcher is a Marmite sort of person - either loved or loathed. Personally, I think she was the best Prime Minister since Churchill but that, as I say is purely a personal observation, nor do I expect everyone to agree with it.

So does this film do the lady justice? Well ... no, I don't think it does. Not that I'm knocking Meryl Streep or Jim Broadbent who are magnificent actors. No, I believe the film is too fragmented, jumping to and from one situation after another. It dwells too much on the failing health of the subject and is that aspect of her life dealt with sympathetically? Once again, no, I don't think so. And much of her political life was skirted over; the Falkland's, the Miners' Strikes, the explosion at the Grand Hotel, the Poll Tax riots, could (and I think should) have been given more prominence and her infirmities limited to being briefly portrayed at the beginning and the end of the film.

With so much talent in the film it could have been so much better - and wasn't.
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119 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Carl Spencer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can't understand all the negative reviews for this film. I can only assume that people are writing out of bitterness for what Thatcher did whilst in Government, or bitterness that she's been portrayed with a weakness by the film. At its core, this movie isn't about party politics, or policy decisions, or whether what Thatcher did was right or wrong - it makes no judgements at all - but rather it is about Margaret Thatcher as a woman and as a human being.

The story is focused on a present day Margaret Thatcher, suffering from mild dementia and portrayed as a woman somewhat out of her time period. Through her illness, she experiences flashbacks of her past and her rise and fall in politics. We see her go from promising young politician from an ordinary background, to a female MP trapped in the world of men, to a pioneering Prime Minister, to someone who has been in power too long and begins to lose her way.

Whatever you might think of Margaret Thatcher and her Government, the point of this film is to portray the woman as honestly as possible and, for the most part, it achieves that. It isn't a Conservative, Liberal or Labour fuelled film and it isn't anti or pro Maggie. It allows the viewer to make up their own mind.

The key to the movie is the older present day Maggie. We see a woman suffering from dementia and virtually alone. She has a slightly wayward daughter and a son who doesn't give a damn about her - symptoms of a life putting politics first. Meryl Streep's portrayal is exquisite. For most of the film, and particularly the modern day segments, you'll often forget that this is even an actress playing a part and get sucked in entirely.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 April 2012
Format: DVD
The acting in "The Iron Lady" is superb. Merle Streep brings Margaret Thatcher to life, visually vocally and in spirit. Jim Broadbent, as her husband Dennis, is a performance to match and enhance Streep's own. The blending of the roles of Alexandra Roach and Harry Loyd as the young Margaret and Dennis with the later manifestations is seamless.

The story itself recalls memories, even to Americans, of the Falklands War and introduces us to some of the controversies Thatcher's policies engendered in Britain. I am sure that British memories would be stimulated much more than Americans.

I found the focus on Thatcher's presumed dementia to be a distraction from the film. It is the milieu in which the life-long love story between Maggie and Dennis is presented, but I still find that detracts from the power of the film. The real story of Margaret Thatcher is the story of her active life, her life of struggle for the British people and the Free World, not the story of an elderly woman in decline. If a movie of Ronald Reagan purported to present his life but focused on his final years I would find it offensive. I feel the same about Lady Thatcher. This film makes me want to know more about her and read her books, but I think it will be awhile before I watch this movie again.
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46 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan 2012
Format: DVD
Meryl Streep lives up to expectations with her strikingly accurate recreation of Margaret Thatcher, at least as she has appeared in the media. It is interesting to be reminded of the violence of the 1980s - the Poll Tax riots, the IRA hunger strikers and bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, the bitter Miners' Strike, the tensions and mishaps of the Falklands War offset by the exaggerated euphoria over the eventual victory. However, all this is covered so quickly that I am not sure what those too young to remember will make of it.

The best yet most controversial aspect of this film is the portrayal of the former Prime Minister as an old lady suffering from dementia, often imagining that her husband Denis is still alive, a dramatic ploy for remembering her past life and revealing her personality through imaginary exchanges with him, ably although perhaps too sympathetically portrayed by Jim Broadbent.

These scenes of dementia about a person still living left me feeling a little uneasy. Perhaps they are based on a recent book by Carol Thatcher, but I understand the family has not given their approval for the film. Maybe the "Anyone for Denis?" stage show paved the way for this kind of intrusion into their lives. I noticed that Mark Thatcher has a remarkably low profile in the story, possibly with avoidance of lawsuits in mind.

There is perhaps too much focus on Thatcher as an elderly lady, giving too little time to develop past events. The process by which she becomes Prime Minister is rushed through, perhaps so as not to bore the audience. Some important aspects of her premiership are neglected.
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