Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) as she's in her twilight years in
seclusion and grieving the loss of her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent). Then in flashback we watch her grow
from a determined young conservative (played by Alexandra Roach) to the first
female British Prime Minister battling the IRA, unions, Argentinians
over the Falkland islands and finally, treachery in her own government.
Throughout The Iron Lady, director Phyllida Lloyd ("Mamma Mia"), uses the feminist hero
perspective to tell Thatcherís story and with good reason. Politics is
still is a manís world and Thatcher broke down doors as a woman of no
compromise. Less effective is the sub-plot focusing on
Thactherís grief over her husbandís death, as she battles
with hallucinations and an unwillingness to let go of his memory.
Many emotional moments present themselves but they prove to be more of a distraction than an addition to the
While some moments aren't particularly effective, the performances
are quite impressive. Jim Broadbent is perfect as the
comical and slightly annoying Denis, but it is Meryl Streep who nails her portrayal of Thatcher, capturing the ambition, quick
wit and ruthlessness that the great conservative leader was known for.
As an intimate portrait of an elderly woman crumbling into dementia, The Iron Lady often works remarkably well. But no matter
how talented and dedicated its star is, the film is mostly a bizarre amalgamation of archival footage, half-baked montages,
hallucinations that push the bounds of poetic license straight into the
gray area of questionable taste, and plain old tedium.