Monday, February 27, 2012

The Iron Lady (2011)



“I AM the Prime Minister.”

            Before viewing The Iron Lady I had only known that Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Through the movie I learned she was a tough lady who knew what she wanted and never backed down. She served as Prime Minister for eleven years even though her terms in office were times of utter chaos for the country.
            The film is told through flashbacks as an older Margaret thinks about her life after the death of her husband Denis. The flashback scenes are thrown around and not very coherent. They do start when she was younger working in her parents’ store and being accepted into Oxford. The film works its way through when she began an interest in politics and how she was very passionate about them from a young age.
            In between her flashbacks Margaret hallucinates that her husband is still alive and going about his daily business. She picks out his clothes and tells to remember his scarf and watches home videos with him.
            The flashbacks become interesting when she reflects on her years as Prime Minister. Apparently she just wanted to run to shake things up she was not running because she wanted to be the Prime Minister but her advisors told her she could run the country. We see some of her defining moments and some moments where the country completely turned against her.
            I liked seeing how some of these moments in career still kept her up at night so many years after she left her post. Since I do not know too much about Margaret Thatcher I would have liked to have seen the more political moments of her career (even though I hate politics I am a HUGE Anglophile so I would not have minded even learning about their politics). But from what I have read her time as Prime Minister was very controversial and critics would have had things to say no matter what side was shown.
            Meryl Streep absolutely deserved her Best Actress Academy Award without a doubt. The thing about Streep is that no matter what kind of character she plays she becomes that character to perfection. The woman is amazing, she does what every actress/actor is supposed to do they are supposed to play their characters convincingly.
            Jim Broadbent was fantastic. He had some funny scenes and lines and some really touching especially at the end where I teared up a bit.
            Makeup artists Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland absolutely deserved the Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup for turning Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher. It is unbelievable how incredible she looked both as a younger Thatcher and an older Thatcher with wrinkles and jowls.
             Now I thought The Iron Lady was good but there are a few flaws where Meryl Streep’s acting comes in to save the day. The flashbacks at times are muddled and confusing and they go through a certain event too quickly. The direction by Phyllida Lloyd was exceptional especially with showing the personal aspects of this once great and powerful lady. The Iron Lady despite some of its flaws is an excellently made film in every aspect.