Friday, 20 January 2012
The Iron Lady
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.