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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but a few flaws.
I guess when a film maker takes on an ambitious project like this they know they won't please everyone. On the whole it works very well, the positives are: Meryl Streep (stunning), the whole cast, the feeling of time 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's caught so well. Negatives: A lot of suppostion and as much a view of the effects of dimentia as a biography. So some things are...
Published on 29 Jan. 2013 by N. Kilbey

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I can't end my days washing cups
In many ways this is a perplexing film. On the one hand we are led to see it as the nostalgic reminiscences of a now lonely old lady with mental health problems. This could and would be touching if that woman were not Margaret Thatcher. If we are given to understand that her life in politics was a cause of her missing so much of life which she now yearns for, then I find...
Published on 7 May 2012 by Mr. Anthony Wilde


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but a few flaws., 29 Jan. 2013
By 
N. Kilbey "losalamos" (Wantage, Oxon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
I guess when a film maker takes on an ambitious project like this they know they won't please everyone. On the whole it works very well, the positives are: Meryl Streep (stunning), the whole cast, the feeling of time 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's caught so well. Negatives: A lot of suppostion and as much a view of the effects of dimentia as a biography. So some things are guesswork and may or not be accurate. Well worth seeing from whatever shade of the political divide you may be, it made me rethink a few assumptions I had about my view of the events of that time.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I can't end my days washing cups, 7 May 2012
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
In many ways this is a perplexing film. On the one hand we are led to see it as the nostalgic reminiscences of a now lonely old lady with mental health problems. This could and would be touching if that woman were not Margaret Thatcher. If we are given to understand that her life in politics was a cause of her missing so much of life which she now yearns for, then I find it very difficult to sympathise. I can't help thinking of those 100s of young Argentinian and British men and women that had to sacrifice their lives in an unneccessary war so that she might get re-elected. Or the mining communities that were decimated by her arrogant policies. How many lives has this woman blighted? Is it not the case that her policies were the seeds which grew into the tree of unregulated banking greed which ultimately led to the crisis we now all suffer under?

On the other hand it is also an attempt to portray her as succeeding in a man's world against almost overwhelming odds. The truth is that Thatcher succeeded in a man's world by adopting the worst traits of masculinity and getting away with it because she was a woman: belligerence, arrogance, and the cold attempt to seperate the heart from the mind. She has set feminist causes back God knows how many years.

When she accepts Dennis's offer of marriage the young Margaret tells him that she is 'not the kind of woman that can end her life washing cups.' (Or something like this. I have no intention to watch it again.) 'That's why I want to marry you.' Well the final scene shows a frail and lonely Margaret washing her own solitary tea cup with a look of confusion and regret on her face. Poignent? It perhaps could be if again one did not feel that the person who is being depicted is not blame-free. Perhaps we might read it another way: What, after all, is wrong with ending ones days washing cups? Could it not be the case that ambition not only ruins one's own life by making one miss what is truly precious, but also ruins the lives of others. And I don't mean Dennis and the twins.

I lived through the Thatcher era. Indeed it was that which politicised me. So I had to watch it. I can't say I'm glad that I did. Could we have a film that shows the horror of what she 'acheived'?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching drama! Meryl IS Maggie!, 8 Jan. 2013
By 
Amazon Customer (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
After watching 'The Iron Lady' on television recently, I enjoyed it enough to buy it on DVD.

Whilst I am no supporter of Margaret Thatcher, I found this a fantastic film. Meryl Streep's performance was indeed worthy of an Oscar and her portrayal of the former Prime Minister (1979-1990) was uncanny. To watch the Iron Lady battle her way through life with dementia truly moved me, politics aside, I felt for her as a human being. Jim Broadbent was also excellent as Thatcher's deceased husband Dennis. As for the ending, I confess that I did have a tear in my eye.

It has to be said that if you require greater knowledge of Thatcher's time at No. 10, you would be better off watching a documentary instead (I highly recommend BBC's 'The Downing Street Years'). This is because the viewer doesn't really find out about that side of things, famous events like the miners' strike are touched upon all to briefly.

Having said that, Meryl Streep is fantastic and I really enjoyed 'The Iron Lady'. The film does go out of it's way to portray Thatcher in a sympathetic light but also reminds the viewer at times of the hurt and human damage that a lot of her policies caused people and whole communities across the country.
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121 of 141 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Portrayal, 6 April 2012
By 
Carl Spencer "Carl" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
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. Even if you despise Margaret Thatcher as a politician - as one of my friend's does - you, like him, will end up sympathising with her.

At the end of the day, we are all human. We all have our beliefs, our ethics, our strengths and flaws; we all make mistakes, we all fall ill and we all die. This film, through chronicling Thatcher's life and political career, is a poignant reminder of that.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once Is Enough, 29 April 2012
By 
James Gallen (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Looking Back in Sorrow or Anger?, 8 Jan. 2012
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (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. I would have liked more about her famous lack of humour, more on her relationship with Ronald Reagan and her dealings with EU partners - "We want our money back" - possibly a bit, not too much, about monetary policy. Her cabinet ministers come across mainly as grey ciphers, and perhaps more of them could have been clearly differentiated for the benefit of those who remember them.

Thatcher is shown as descending into megalomania, largely responsible for her downfall. Yet, the film does succeed in arousing some sympathy for a woman who had to overcome the snobbish prejudice of the old style Tory party to become the first female British head of government.
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4.0 out of 5 stars and since part of the point of good drama is to arouse emotions the film is therefore ..., 24 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
A moving but deeply flawed film. Whole areas seemed to be skipped over; for example the 1975 leadership campaign was treated very sketchily, and Thatcher's long-running personality clash with Edward Heath barely explored. Michael Heseltine barely appeared and you got no sense of his growing disenchantment with her, culminating in first Westland and then his decision to stand her for the leadership in 1990. And where was Arthur Scargill? I don't think the film helped that much towards understanding the politics of the 1980s. The problem was that there was far too much concentration on her as an old lady, lost in her memories and beginning to suffer from dementia, at the expense of other things. However this did mean that you ended up feeling sorry for her, despite everything, and since part of the point of good drama is to arouse emotions the film is therefore worth watching. If, as I think some people believed, the intention behind it was to denigrate her it failed to have that effect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love And Loss In High Places, 21 Nov. 2013
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Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
This is a remarkable piece, especially so in not just being a biopic but a film about the love and loss in a marriage especially where the key player finds the deceased's value most deeply after their death. As such it is going to annoy those who hoped for a complete history of the Iron Lady; no handbagging of Chirac! Quelle horreur! Instead what could have been all history becomes history and tragedy. Meryl Streep inhabits the key role powerfully, I was less persuaded by Jim Broadbent, the politicians were wonderfully weak (and there was a whole sub-game of guessing who was who). At times I feared Streep would tip from Thatcher into Cartland, but she was only toying with us - that lady's not for turning either. Alexandra Roach was very good as the young Maggie before she developed a taste for blood.

There is no judgement on the politician, that is left to the viewer, but there is a view of the person, foibles and all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity, 28 April 2013
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
I waited until Mrs Thatcher died to watch this film because I felt that seeing a dramatisation of the effects of dementia on a person still living would be disrespectful and upsetting. In the event that remains true, particularly for people and families who have had to deal with this themselves. To some extent one can understand why the dementia/flashback device is used. De Gaulle called old age a shipwreck, and the crumbling dreadnought that was Mrs T is occasionally on magnificent display, at the lunch party, and at the interview with her Doctor. The problem is that there is simply not enough of her political life, so the superb Meryl Streep is not given the chance to let rip with the historical masterpiece this could have been. Noone will ever do a better Mrs T, so we will now be forever deprived of a great film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Iron Lady DVD, 21 Feb. 2013
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Meryl Streep's performance in this film was excellent but I was sad that the story mainly covered her later life. I would still recommend seeing it though.
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