The Iron Lady

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Rating: 4 / 5 stars
By Sally Burgess, Technical Manager 

Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative Party when I was about six and went on to win three General Elections, so I was very curious to see what filmmakers would do with the story of a greengrocer’s daughter who would go on to become the backbone of my 80’s. 

The Iron Lady is an intimate portrait of a woman who cut a swathe through British politics to become the country’s first (and only) female Prime Minister. Meryl Streep does a fantastic job of breathing life in to this formidable character, but is mostly shown as she would be in the present day, as an elderly and slightly forgetful old lady who has conversations with her late husband Dennis. The story flashes back to her youth and her entry into politics, and then on to her role as Education Minister before contesting the leadership of the party. 

The film flashes back to some of the most famous moments of her time as PM, notably the Winter of Discontent, miners’ strike, and the Falklands War before her topple from power after the Poll Tax riots in London. 

I would have liked to have seen more of Thatcher’s rise to power, and the movie focuses on her old age the most here, but Streep carries the movie so well that it didn’t really matter that much and I found the film to be thoroughly absorbing. It’s a testament to her acting skill that I forgot it was her behind the quite brilliant make-up. 

Jim Broadbent (best known for playing Bridget Jones’ dad) deserves a mention as Dennis Thatcher but this is Meryl Streep’s movie. Seriously, is there anyone she can’t play? 

Standout Performance: Meryl Streep. Just hand her the Oscar already. 

The Iron Lady
Rated: M- contains violence
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent
Genre: Drama/Biography
Running time: 105 mins

This movie is now showing at Reading Cinemas in Queenstown. This review has been written and rated by Sally Burgess of Reading Cinemas Queenstown.