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The Iron Lady

Submitted by MBergeron on January 11, 2024 – 8:18 pmNo Comment

While The Iron Lady isn’t a total hagiography the film never really feels like it gets off the ground. Iron Lady chronicles the life of Margaret Thatcher and moves in a non-linear fashion from her youth in WWII London to her reign as Prime Minister and a gloomy aftermath as Thatcher wanders around her apartment trying to remember the past.

Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent play mom and dad Thatcher, and that’s not so much the problem as the sappy direction by Phyllida Lloyd that shades the characters with a sympathetic light. Actors playing the Thatchers (Streep and Broadbent) as young adults are well cast. Lloyd helmed Streep previously in Mamma Mia! and while the duo display a passion for their efforts the end result just doesn’t seem very profound or emotionally satisfying.

There’s way too many shots where the camera moves in on Thatcher walking or waving or sitting before a group of men, all done without dialogue and all pointedly trying to make this a film about make-up and acting and not the actual issues of politics that it raises. Any real sympathy the audience feels for an old woman reminiscing about her life, and possibly in the throes of dementia, are likely to be a reflection of the audience themselves and not The Iron Lady.

- Michael Bergeron

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