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All Critics (71)
| Top Critics (22)
| Fresh (24)
| Rotten (47)
The Lady is a slog, a two-and-a-half hour, painted-on-wood exercise in political iconography.
"The Lady" is a two-hour trip into earnestness, from which audiences will want a little liberation of their own.
The Lady is little more than a history lesson - although a beautifully presented one - wrapped in the pink gloss of a G-rated potboiler evidenced in Suu Kyi's and Michael's storybook romance.
A heavy-handed attempt to sanctify one of the most dignified and uncompromising politicians and human rights champions of recent times.
[It] does indeed deal with a real life, but follows so faithfully the traditional shape of film biography that it feels less convincing.
This hagiography of Myanmar's Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, is earnest, civilized and borderline unendurable.
It takes some doing to rob the biopic of Nobel prize-winning pro-democracy Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi of drama and tension. But, with his skewed view of history and ropey storytelling, Besson manages it.
A bland title...is not the only sign of mellowing.
The story of Aung San Suu Kyi as depicted by Michelle Yeoh is incredibly powerful.
Screenwriter Rebecca Frayn's full feature debut is alluring, fascinating to watch and, most importantly, makes you care about Suu Kyi.
The film-makers are more deft in dramatising these little-known details that never made the headlines, and the tears of genuine sensitivity they elicit may wash away _ or cover up _ the shortcomings in bringing this real-life human struggle to the screen.
The dramatic moments are few and far between, and the film seems like it walks in the footsteps of Richard Attenborough's Gandhi at times. Besson definitely tries to present Suu Kyi in a similarly reverent light.
Although directed by hotshot cowboy Luc Besson this biographic about one of the leaders that took Burma to democracy nonetheless feels like many other bio-pics wherein the go-to points are gone to, and without a great deal of flair. If it's a history lesson one seeks, you could do worst, and immersion in the life another culture is always a good thing. The leads do admirably (always a fan of Yeoh, which is why I showed up, and she could use helming other work) but, as I said, the story only follows an overview of the lives involved, like a great many other biographies.
Besson turns this real story into a conventional, underwhelming movie and stretches it forever, but still Michelle Yeoh does her best to lend an aura of elegance and honor to a character that utters cheap soundbites all the time to justify her poorly developed actions.
On the one hand, "The Lady" is a heartfelt biopic about Burmese democracy activist and Nobel Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi(Michelle Yeoh). As such, the movie is framed by three deaths:
It is 1947, and her father, Aung San(Phoe Zaw), one of the founding fathers of Burma, is gunned down in cold blood by army soldiers.
It is 1998 and her husband, Michael Aris(David Thewlis), an Oxford professor, has just been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He now has between five months and five years to live which as pointed out, should be enough time to settle his affairs. Except that she is stuck in Burma and if she leaves, she will not be able to return.
It is 1988 and her mother(Marian Yu) has just had a serious stroke in Burma. That causes Aung San Suu Kyi to return to her native country from England, with her family not far behind her, just as democracy protests are kicking into high gear.
On the other hand, while I respect the well-intentioned thoughts of "The Lady," crafting it as a romance and giving equal time to her husband do it little favor, making Aung San Suu Kyi almost a supporting player in her own story.(Therefore, David Thewlis' excellent performance ironically hurts the movie more than it helps.) Not to paraphrase "Man of Steel" anymore than I absolutely have to, but the far reaching and lasting peaceful movement for democracy in Burma is larger than all of these people. For the record, I don't mean to take anything away from the personal struggles of the dedicated Aung San Suu Kyi when I say that. But if one wanted to really give a sense of her isolation under house arrest, then a one woman show would have definitely been the way to go, assuming one cast the right actress.
Really good biodrama. Before viewing this film, I had little understanding of her background, and even less understanding of the history of Burma over the past fifty years. Really well done. Not the fastest pace ever, but still a very interesting story about a remarkable lady...
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