Meryl Streep may be the prime minister of actresses, a fact which few can deny, but she is still unable to salvage all the troubles with THE IRON LADY. This film reminded me a lot of the earlier biopic, J. Edgar. Like that flick, the story was there, the acting award worthy; but the film itself was a bit disjointed.
The Iron Lady chronicles the life of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep/Alexandra Roach), the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It is meant to convey all of the sacrifices she made and the toll it took on her family life with her rise to power. When we meet Thatcher in the film she is at the end of her days and most is told through her flashback memories. That would be ok had they flowed better. But this never caught the right groove and came across as unfocused and sadly, boring.
The acting is certainly not to blame. Streep is as stellar as you would expect. Roach does a superb job as the tenacious young Thatcher. She is determined and strong willed. She has a fire in her eyes that made the character glow. Jim Broadbent plays Margaret’s husband Denis Thatcher. His role is odd in this one. In later years he is just a figment of her imagination. The concept was probably good on paper but it comes across poorly on screen. I am sure it was meant to display a form of dementia but never sits well.
This film would have been better suited to focus more on the younger years and her rise to power. Those scenes with Roach are the best. But they are separated too often by the aging Thatcher. This causes the movie to lose steam along with the audience’s attention. There are many poignant moments in the UK’s political history that I wish would have had a bigger part. Also, Thatcher comes along during a time when few women had a voice. It is those moments that she stands up to the boy’s club that shine the brightest.
THE IRON LADY is rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity. It is all about war and politics so I would certainly not call the film offensive in any manner. Only true di hard fans of political history will find this a decent viewing. It may be better geared for a rainy afternoon couch viewing once it hits blu-ray. Then you can sleep and not regret missing a few scenes. I give it only 2 out of 5 cups of tea. Again the performances are top notch and Streep still shows she is the iron lady of acting. But the writing and directing derailed this film completely.
Review copyright 2012 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.