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Friday, 20 January 2012

The Iron Lady

We went to the cinema on Wednesday to see "The Iron Lady". I pause here to await the on line abuse.

It was a good film. I was disappointed since it was directed by the woman who did the same for "Mama Mia" and it starred that film's lead Meryl Streep. But no Abba songs! and I was disappointed to find Jim Broadbent in the male lead and not Piers Brosnon who I've always liked since those far off days of "Remington Steele."

Nor was it what you would call a "feel good" film; the opening shot of an old lady buying a pint of milk in a local shop didn't hint at too many laughs.

The film could have done with some lightening of the mood. Even the early, happier days of Margaret Roberts were seen through the eyes of a lonely, sad old lady. Her imagined scenes with the long dead Dennis, just emphasised her isolation.

The film was too much of a good thing. It suffered from trying to encompass an extremely busy and interesting life in a short space of time. So we had glimpses of this and that major event or incident. There goes the Falklands and the sinking of the Belgrano, there's the Miners' Strike and the confrontation with them. There's the "Poll Tax" riots, the Brixton riots and broken only by a fleeting dance with her soul mate Ronald Reagan.

It might have been better had they focused on one major incident and dealt with it in some depth, but then, since the film was seen through the eyes of a slowly dementing ex PM, the fragmented narrative was, I suppose, meant to have worked. But it didn't.

What did work was Miss Streep's portrayal of the woman of steel from Grantham. The Oscar committee will be well and truely handbagged. It was a gut wrenching performance.

I wonder how many of those who thought Mrs T was the worst thing that could happen to this country will see the film? I hope they do. You couldn't but be moved by Meryl's portrayal of the old Thatcher. She also caught the energy, fiestiness and sheer will to power of the Thatcher we know as Britain's first woman Prime Minister.

I think overall it was a good film, mainly because of Miss Streep, and the acres of top notch UK actors. There was, however, a much better film desperate to be made about this bewildering woman. I look forward to that.

  

13 comments:

Steve said...

I hate Thatcher. Truly, madly, deeply. I won't be paying good money to go and see this at the cinema. But I might watch a bootleg copy on DVD.

Marginalia said...

But you're too young to remember "Thatcher the Snatcher". You're a Blair baby aren't you.

Steve said...

You old charmer.

I'm a 69 baby. I remember Thatcher. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

Piers has already played Blair (effectively) in the Ghost.

The lady is not for (re)turning thankfully.

Marginalia said...

Ah Steve, "Soixante-Neuf", what more can one say.

Marginalia said...

Dear Anon, I Guardian reader I suspect. Certainly not a friend of the Daily Mail.

Anonymous said...

Shaven pussies. Now soixante neuf This site will get a parental warning next

Anonymous said...

Shaven pussies. Now soixante neuf This site will get a parental warning next

RubberCrutch said...

I would pay good money to see a movie about Ronald Reagan's last 10 years, from the first-person perspective, directed by David Lynch and produced by Wes Craven. Personally, I wouldn't see a movie about Thatcher if there's any chance that Streep's performance would elicit an iota of sympathy for her. She deserves none from "society," which she said does not exist.

Old Timer said...

I blame the swinging sixties.When I was a lad 69 was the answer to 3x23, simple as that. Nothing to do with bedroom aerobics.

Marginalia said...

I blame the French.

Gregg and Chris said...

Alan Bennett (a great man if ever there was one) writes in his diary about a letter he had from a woman whose experience of evacuation during the war was similar to his. She was sent to Grantham and says that Alderman Roberts, Mrs Thatcher’s father, was thought to be into the black market and that Maggie used to hang out of her bedroom window and spit on the other children. She grew up to spit on the whole of society. A truly vile woman.

Marginalia said...

Dear Anon, I'm afraid you've got the wrong end of the stick.

Dear RubberCrutch ( I've always read it as RubberClutch, I don't know why). I take it you not a fan of Newt.

Dear Gregg and Chris, so you won't be going to see the film then?