“Iron Lady” puts Meryl Streep back in run for Oscar
In most cases, it would be absurd to cast an American actress as one of Britain’s most influential leaders. However since Meryl Streep is no ordinary actress she impeccably portrays former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” The performance is both captivating and heart-wrenching – the crown jewel of an overall brilliant movie.
People hoping to see a political film will be disappointed. The movie does feature Thatcher’s politics, but it smartly does not dwell on them. Instead, it focuses on Thatcher as a person. The film presents Thatcher as who she truly was – a woman before her time whose strong will and controversial opinions made her a polarizing figure, both revered and completely despised. Despite her public persona, Thatcher was not really an “iron lady,” and the film also shows her love for her family although her political life sometimes alienated her from them. “The Iron Lady” certainly ranks among the best biopics, effectively chronicling Thatcher’s life from her humble roots through years as the ruler of Britain to her later years mourning the loss of her beloved husband.
Although she is an American, Streep is believable as Britain’s first female prime minister, whether she is playing Thatcher at the height of her political career or as an old woman reflecting on her life. From her accent to her overall appearance, Streep seemingly becomes Thatcher and gives her humanity in addition to a strength that few actresses could pull off. Streep definitely proves her versatility as an actress.
Jim Broadbent is equally laudable playing Margaret’s husband Denis, both in his living form and in the older Margaret’s hallucinations. The final scene between Streep and Broadbent, in which Margaret finally makes peace with her husband’s death, is powerfully moving. Broadbent is a tremendous actor, and hopefully will become more well-known in the United States after his performance in “The Iron Lady.”
Phyllida Lloyd also deserves praise as the film’s director. Movies largely told through flashbacks are often confusing, but Lloyd made her film clear and commendable. She certainly has a great career ahead of her.
It is not difficult to understand why Streep won Best Actress at the Golden Globes for her performance in this film.
Sean Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.