Friday, January 6, 2012

Movie with Abe: The Iron Lady (Capsule Review)

The Iron Lady
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
Released December 30, 2011

Biopics are, first and foremost, about one person. Films about a historical figure, real or fictional, sometimes rely so heavily on the story of their protagonist that they forget the rest of the story and the world, resulting in a fantastic lead performance and an unextraordinary surrounding universe. In the case of “The Iron Lady,” from “Mamma Mia” director Phyllida Lloyd, there’s no debating that Meryl Streep’s turn as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is anything but spectacular, as she embodies the character through both her political career and subsequent debilitating condition. Fortunately, however, the film is also strong, showcasing her ascent to power and her term by having an elderly Thatcher reflect back on her choices and her life. Alexandra Roach delivers a compelling portrayal of a much younger Thatcher, and Harry Lloyd and Jim Broadbent deliver able support as her husband Denis, who is deceased for much of his appearance in the film. “The Iron Lady” is as comprehensive a biography as can be expected in under two hours, and does a mesmerizing job of telling Thatcher’s story. It’s sure to be remembered for the performance that will earn Streep her seventeenth Oscar nomination, but, positively, there’s more to this film than just her.


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