Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Madeline Albright… I’m glad we are at a time where women in power is no longer such a crazy idea (although I still think there are not enough women occupying high positions). The upcoming biographical film, The Iron Lady, takes a look at another woman in power, the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The Iron Lady
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Abi Morgan, The Iron Lady is a surprising and intimate portrait of the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher. She is one of the 20th century’s most famous and influential women, who came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world. And the film shows us just how difficult smashing those barriers were for her. To her supporters, Margaret Thatcher remains a figure who revitalized Britain’s economy, impacted the trade unions, and re-established the nation as a world power but she was quite the controversial and divisive figure during her time as Prime Minister. The Iron Lady is narrated through a series of flashbacks, including the 17 days leading up to the Falklands War in 1982.
Here’s a Margaret Thatcher trivia: The Soviet Defence Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) gave her the nickname “Iron Lady” as a response to her speech she made on January 1976 in Kensington Town Hall in which she made a scathing attack on the Soviet Union. She took delight in the name and it soon became associated with her image.
The Iron Lady reteams Lloyd with Meryl Streep who plays Margaret Thatcher in the film. The last time they worked together was in the most financially successful British film ever released, Mamma Mia!. Thatcher’s husband, Denis Thatcher, will be portrayed by Jim Broadbent and Anthony Head will play Thatcher’s longest-serving cabinet member, Geoffrey Howe. The teaser for the film drew the ire of some across the ocean in Britain and its depiction of Thatcher has been criticized by her children. You can’t please everybody, especially since you’re dealing with one of their icons. Wasn’t there also uproar before Bridget Jones’s Diary was released? Not that I’m comparing Bridget Jones to Thatcher.
But I must admit, I’ve heard of the name Margaret Thatcher before and that she’s some prominent person in Britain but I’m not really familiar on who she is. So I googled her and all I can say is wow. At 28 years old, she was a qualified barrister (that’s means lawyer for us), raising newborn twins and was just starting her political career (which a few of years later she as elected as a Member of Parliament). When I was at that age… FML.
The Iron Lady Release Date
The Iron Lady hits theaters on December 16, 2011
The Iron Lady Pictures
Who’s In It?
- Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher
- Alexandra Roach as Margaret Thatcher (as a teenager)
- Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher
- Harry Lloyd as Young Denis Thatcher
- Olivia Colman as Carol Thatcher
- Anthony Head as Geoffrey Howe
- Richard E. Grant as Michael Heseltine
- Roger Allam as Gordon Reece
- Michael Pennington as Michael Foot
- Angus Wright as John Nott
- Julian Wadham as Francis Pym
The Good Stuff?
Two words. Meryl Streep. One of the greatest actresses of our time (yup, I’m a big fan). Words are not enough to describe her acting prowess but I am sure that she will once again effortlessly transform into the role she is portraying. And she really knows how to get to the heart and soul of a character, beyond just impersonating the person. She subtly adds layers to the portrayal of the role, like what she did for the character loosely based on Anna Wintour in The Devil Wears Prada. And looking at the trailer, I’m sure this is another ‘oscar’ role for her. The Iron Lady itself is also ‘oscar’ material, love how it portrayed the ‘girl power’ message.
The Bad Stuff?
Critics would undoubtedly love The Iron Lady, especially with Streep at the center of it all. But based on how the other political figure biopic, J. Edgar, is doing in the box office, I think this will do okay but not necessarily break records. But who knows? Could the force known as Meryl Streep compete with the family films or movie franchises that will probably grab the top spots during the holidays?