Taylor Lautner was spotted in New York filming his new movie Tracers.
The Iron Lady: movie review
Release date: 6 January 2012
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Alexandra Roach
What's it about? An elderly Margaret Thatcher is struggling to come to term with the loss of her husband Denis five years earlier. As she learns to let go, her memories of Denis cause her to relive the pivotal moments of her extraordinary life.
What did we think? Those seeking to have their views of Thatcher either bolstered or offended will be disappointed. Instead, it dives into the tired mind of an elderly woman, often beautifully, telling a far more personal story. It's politically light. But it stands alone as a well-crafted film built on an outstanding Streep performance.
"Unwillingness to move from a position," reads the ghost of Denis Thatcher (played by Jim Broadbent) from a crossword puzzle at one point in The Iron Lady. "Obstinate," replies Meryl Streep's elderly 'MT'. "I knew you'd get it," replies the apparition of her deceased husband. It's about as close to having a dig at Margaret Thatcher as The Iron Lady gets. In fact, we don't really get into politics at all. Instead, we focus on an elderly Alzheimer's sufferer coming to terms with the loss of her husband.
The performances of Streep and Broadbent are as masterful as expected. They are a joy to watch together. And the dynamic, in which Denis' 'ghost' triggers a series of flashbacks, cleverly allows us to study the character without questioning her actions in any substantial way.
When we do go back to the Thatcher premiership, The Iron Lady looks at her remarkably favourably. We often see her strike a gallant pose and deliver her somewhat imperial lines as a rousing orchestral score builds in the background and a union jack flutters somewhere in the shot.
It's all heavily simplified and made accessible to an international audience. Essentially we get a look at her famously bullish approach to the 80s recession and the strikes. Then The Falklands happens - she's equally strong-minded - and the good times roll after that. You'd be forgiven for not quite remembering it that way.
Whatever your outlook on Thatcher, you can't deny that there was and is enormous strength in the former PM's character. And that strength is absolutely the centre of this remarkable Meryl Streep performance. 'Powerhouse', to use the hackish term, doesn't nearly say it all.
For all that strength, however, she's portrayed as dependent on Denis. He repeats the line "steady the buffs" to her at several key moments, including her departure from number 10, where Streep does a tremendous job of Thatcher's famous tear. He's also there towards the end of her premiership, where the iron grip is seen to slip and her famed lack of sleep appears to affect her.
Allow us to make space for Alexandra Roach, who is outstanding in the role of the young Margaret Roberts, who first campaigns. With a reptilian Richard E Grant as Michael Heseltine, an impressive Harry Lloyd as young Dennis and Olivia Colman doing an effortless job of Carol Thatcher, it's a supporting cast that more than holds its own in the shadow of Streep. Roach stands out: a real find.
Gets behind the iron but never questions it. The Streep performance will come to be seen as a true great, lifting the whole thing.
Trailer: The Iron Lady
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