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The Iron Lady

Synopsis: A bio-pic about British female Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher.

Description: The movie that won Meryl Streep an Oscar for Best Actress, The Iron Lady follows Thatcher in her political career and her life after leaving power; taking a detailed look at the personal price she paid for her success.

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Review: Probably the most hated British Prime Minister yet Margaret Thatcher over saw the United Kingdom through huge unemployment, union strikes and far flung wars, it can not be denied that, love her or hate her, she certainly made an impression.

The same can not really be said for the biographical movie of her life however, although Streep’s performance is utterly flawless and well deserving of the Academy Award, it is not enough to truly get the Iron Lady going.

It is not the plot that fails the picture, but rather the way the story has been handled, the movie lacks any genuine emotional strength, presenting a fairly placid version of events from all sides. Had director and screen writer Phyllida Lloyd and Abi Morgan been brave enough to give the movie a backbone, whether it be the controversial pro-Thatcher stance or the incessant hatred of the left wing liberals, then the Iron Lady might have made more of an impact. The movie takes a far safer turn however, trying to appeal to all sides and ultimately ending up as rather damp and forgettable.

Arguably the movie does not look at Thatcher from a political stand point, but rather from a personal and dramatic direction; in this respect the performances of Streep and her male lead Jim Broadbent are both hugely impressive but ultimately steering clear of the political tensions has left the characters with little to work with beyond the rather non-committal guilt of the people in power. This movie could have made a real statement, instead it whimpers rather pathetically in the shadows, something you would never expect of Thatcher herself.

Reviewed by AlyseG on 23 March 2012

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