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The Iron Lady
BLU-RAY disk
Apr 9, 2012 By: Mathew Plale
The Iron Lady order download
Director:
Phyllida Lloyd

Actors:
Meryl Streep
Jim Broadbent
Richard E. Grant

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Told in flashback, this biopic of Margaret Thatcher (Streep) touches on key points in her life, from her upbringing and place as a Member of Parliament to her days as Britain's first female Prime Minister and the years following her husband's (Broadbent) death.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The Iron Lady is one of those biopics that exists solely so that whoever takes the lead would automatically be lauded and showered in accolades. The role of Margaret Thatcher was taken, of course, by Oscar darling Meryl Streep.

The movie itself, directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) and written by Abi Morgan, is as standard as such a movie can come. It begins in 2008, a few years after Thatcher’s dear husband Denis’ (Jim Broadbent) death, and, in flashback, a dementia-ridden and unrecognizable Thatcher reflects on her life. The daughter of a grocery store owner, Thatcher went on to Oxford and found herself a place as a Member of Parliament, her blue dress standing out in a pond of black and gray suits.

The Iron Lady quickly covers the next decades of her life: her election to Prime Minister in 1979; the 1982 Falklands War; the Grand Hotel bombing that almost killed her and Denis; the miners’ strike of the mid-’80s; her forcing out of 10 Downey Street; and on and on. In between are forced speeches and lines about staying true to your stance and the necessity of strong leadership.

This is a highlight reel, and Lloyd and Morgan are not at all interested in giving dimension to the icon. Streep herself doesn’t seem to care, either. She may have been right in saying she had courage to play Thatcher, but she didn’t put enough work in to make the performance itself anything other than safe. Streep studied the voice and posture, but she is as good as that and the makeup, and nothing more.
THE EXTRAS
Making The Iron Lady (12:20): Streep begins by saying, “I had courage to play Margaret Thatcher.” The featurette then becomes standard promotional fare, with interviews, clips and behind-the-scenes footage used to trace the production.

Recreating the Young Margaret Thatcher (2:44): Alexandra Roach, who played the young Thatcher, is put under the spotlight.

Denis: The Man Behind the Woman (2:33) does the same for Jim Broadbent.

Battle of the House of Commons (2:28): This featurette looks at the scenes that took place at Parliament.

Costume Design: Pearls and Power Suits (2:43): Costume designer Consolata Boyle discusses her work on The Iron Lady.

History Goes to the Cinema (18:04): This featurette looks at the stories and eras that inspired My Week with Marilyn, W.E., Coriolanus, The Iron Lady, and The Artist.

Also included are a DVD and a Digital Copy.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady is only a hightlight reel of Margaret Thatcher’s life and career. It lacks any need to be anything other than safe and down-the-middle, while Meryl Streep uses an accent and makeup as a crutch for her unremarkable performance. The Blu-ray, save the video and audio transfers, is also not worth it, as most of the special features are only three-minute spurts that offer little.
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