Monday, February 06, 2012

"The Iron Lady"

Yesterday we saw "The Iron Lady" with Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, both old and (pretty) young. Her performance was amazing, though at one point I couldn't figure out why I was thinking of Julia Child. Oh, yeah, "Julie and Julia" !

The recap of British politics of the Thatcher era was interesting, and seemed to bring up the issues that are currently being debated. Do you solve economic downturns and low employment through austerity? Do you tax the poor at an effectively higher rate than the rich? We don't know yet.

In the film, the real drama was in the 24 hour time of the frame story: the life and memories of very elderly Margaret Thatcher on one day in November, 2008, as she sees the Mumbai Massacre events on her TV, and as many similar events of her life, along with other events, flash back in her mind. The memories are vividly and literally recreated as relatively brief onscreen vignettes for the movie viewer. The result is the kind of unity of drama -- the classic kind.

I knew nothing about this film before we went; somehow I hadn't read a single review. So it was all the more impressive. Though I didn't and don't like some of Thatcher's policies and politics, I have a lot of respect for how she led her country, for her determination, and for her success in overcoming prejudice against her (as a woman and a grocer's daughter). The film reinforced that respect. All in all, it's quite worth seeing.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

I think you and I are exactly on the same page with this. I was pleased when I heard the film had been nominated for make-up -- Streep's aged make up was so spot-on. I'd heard her performance was good; I was stunned at HOW good. I'm not sure how the Thatchers would feel, given she's still alive (I actually didn't know that till after). I think it was a pretty honest, real portrait of a women with that dementia, but probably hard to watch and I suspect they haven't. I'm glad you ilked it, too!