MarkK's Rating of The Iron Lady

Mark's Review of The Iron Lady

4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
The Iron Lady

The Iron Lady(2012)

I give the entire 50% because if anyone else but 'the great chameleon' Meryl Streep had done this film, it would have been unintelligible. The interesting thing about this film is that despite her heroic 'smashing of gender barriers'; the film chooses the odd method of viewing it through her end-of-life dementia haze, which ultimately diminishes her achievements. She was both loved and hated, but she was a pioneer, and the tendency of Hollywood to try to humanize iconic people is in force here, and ultimately ruined the film.

There's just not enough for you to judge who she really was, and why she made the decisions she did, and inspired love/hate amongst friends and opponents. She was the Cold war ally of the US, but it really doesn't touch that to any depth. She presided over turbulent times in the UK, but the resolutions (or lack thereof) are never presented very well. It spends all too little time on the labor vs. conservative/Tory fights, and wavers back and forth between then and now until you just don't care. Family is largely ignored, except for the phantom of her late husband, which becomes almost funny after a while. It might have been nice to see a family dynamic-based view of her, instead of a myopic mess of the end of her life.

Streep does her best with what she has, and the movie is all hers. The rest are just clippings from newspapers, and some vague popular collective memories. I wanted to see something deeper, but didn't get it. I was looking at my watch about half-way through. Never a good sign. Don't look for a balanced or even imbalanced view of Margaret Thatcher, you won't get it.