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January 17, 2012 / Prof Cupcake.

The Iron Lady, she’s well fierce

Given the enormous amount of negative reviews of the Iron Lady that have been flooding the cinema world the last week, I was expecting this film to be equally if not more abysmal than this seasons other political figure turned Oscar hopeful J Edgar.  Yet I find myself unable to find much wrong in this film which is expertly helmed by Meryl Streep who unsurprisingly gives a complex and moving portrayal as Margret Thatcher.

Rather then focus on the ‘truth’ of her ten year as Prime Minister of Great Britain, the Iron Lady in stead focuses on the declining mind of one of the most influential politicians of the twentieth century. It is not a portrayal of her role as the Prime Minister, nor does it try to be. Instead in focuses on the relationship Margaret has to her own life and her past, through the cipher of her late Husband Daniel, acted masterfully by Jim Broadbent. The film skips between her dementia ridden present into multiple episodes of her youth which gradually move forward in time, until her ‘now’ and remembrance of ‘now’ collide.

 

By exploring the issues surrounding trauma and how helming the command of Great Brittan in a rather turbulent time ultimately effected her, the film is largely a move to humanize a woman whose political and social choices have vilified her. Most people seem to be unable to see the film as disassociated from the actual woman, (why would they really) but it so doing forget to evaluate the film on its own unique merits. Furthermore many people seem to think that IRON LADY is a poor portrayal of dementia. Dementia is a concept alone which needs an entire film just to begin scratching at the surface of how it warps and ruins a mind, but here, Phyllida Lloyd has decided to marry dementia and magical realism and bring us the wonderful character of Denis, who is both Margaret’s late husband, as well as the voice of her own self doubt and confusion.

 

A rather lovely little film, it skirts away from any singular political action as well as from making an groundbreaking assumptions about Margaret Thatcher’s personality. Worth seeing for Meryl Streep’s performance alone.

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