Saturday, 21 January 2012

Iron Lady

There is a scene in the film The Iron Lady
where the Conservative party spin doctors give Maggie Thatcher's budding Prime Minister a style make over in order to boost her popularity amongst the electorate and her party. What they should have employed even then, was a budding actress called Meryl Steep, for it is her performance in this story of Lady Thatcher's Journey through dementia, that gives the former Prime Minister, substance, heart, a certain likability and indeed soul.
She would have made a cracking style guru!
It is clearly one of Streep's best performances to date.
The story outlines Thatcher's twilight years, where the fading Maggie is virtually under house arrest with only the ghost of husband Denis ( a fabulous Jim Broadbent) for company. Through flashbacks, the increasing confused Thatcher surveys her political career from its early days in her Grantham Grocers shop to her resignation from number 10, and in between we touch upon the Miner's strike, The Falklands Conflict and even Thatcher's famous waltz with President Reagan
However, for me, those parts of the film proved to be far less interesting than the film's real message, and that is the heartbreaking and dreadfully moving story of a woman dealing with grief and coping with dementia, and it is in this portrayal that Streep is so good. She gives her character a cunning, guile, balancing out Thatcher's vagueness with flashes of clever confabulation and steely resolve. (The scene when Thatcher outwits her patronising psychiatrist  is a real stand out)....it is a lovely,intelligent and impressive Oscar worthy performance
8/10

Off to work tonight.....
BTW I have placed Rooster Cogburn   in his own run with ( of all hens ) Vinegar Tits, who has been a bit under the weather recently....... when I last checked on them both were sharing a bowl of corn! ( cue smiles all round)

28 comments:

  1. I plan on trying to see this movie because I really like Streep's acting abilities. Glad to hear they are sharing corn and feeling better.
    Connie

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  2. I sense that you miss your student days as a film studies student at Sheffield University, John.

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  3. I do tom very much!

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  4. it was sheffield Hallam uni actually x

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  5. Sounds like a goodie!

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  6. I plan to see this next week. I really enjoyed Warhorse by the way, but my expectations were lowered by your review! I can see why you wrote what you did though. xx

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  7. Have a nice weekend!

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  8. Nice one, best review I've seen and I will now go when previously I was saying 'I lived through those years, why go there again?'
    Nothing like a bit of companionable corn sharing.

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  9. I totally agree with you in all aspects of your review. The one scene that I loved the most was the beginning where she goes out to shop by herself. That and the following scene at the kitchen table were marvelous and set up the rest of the movie up perfectly.

    Although I am on the other end of the spectrum of thought from MT, I appreciate that she was true to herself and her beliefs and paved a path for other women to take up the mantle of government.

    Meryl Streep is the greatest actress America has ever had. She was beyond marvelous.

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  10. I very much agree with your review. However, I find that one's appreciation of this film is greater to those who were not admirers of Thatcher than those who feel that she was, to quote someone rather close to me, 'the greatest primer minister of them all'! For him and for others of his ilk it is bad form to focus on her dementia, especially while she is still alive. However, even he had to admit that Streep's performance is astonishing...

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  11. I think Meryl Streep is amazing. I'd watch just about anything she was in.

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  12. Good news for Streep, and good news for Cogburn.

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  13. I wasn't planning to see the film but I might just do so after reading your piece.

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  14. Sounds like you should be writing movie reviews for the local newspaper. Yours is as good as any I've read in our paper. Oh, and you DO have a talent for unusual pet names. Vinegar tits??? Really?

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  15. I'm not sure I could handle a movie about the Milk Snatcher. It might just end up putting me off Meryl Streep.

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  16. One of my cockerels attacked the farmer last night when he shut them in - I fear if it continues its days will be numbered/

    Descent into dementia is so awful - I have a friend who began to show signs at 55 and now - at 65 - knows no-one.

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  17. Sad that such a powerful, strong and focused human being has to submit to such a devastating surmise of her life.

    The rooster is blind, right? Maybe that is why they are getting along.

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  18. Am I a huge fan of Meryl Streep? Yes. Do I want to see a film about Thatcher? No. Will my admiration for Streep override my hatred for Thatcher? Probably. Thanks for the review. It's gone some way to persuading me to see the film.

    ps - what next? Brad Pit playing Hitler?

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  19. Still not sure its for me.... but you may have swayed me to rent it?

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  20. Hmm. I thought you were going to put him in with someone else.
    Still, it seems to be working. Good luck!

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  21. I am looking forward to seeing this movie, as I have been a big fan of both Margaret Thatcher and Meryl Streep.

    Gill in Canada

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  22. Hi John. Thanks for popping by & not giving up on me for not visiting for far too long. Not seen the film & probably won't.

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  23. I'm looking forward to seeing this movie. Streep is one of my favorites.

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  24. I thought Meryl Streep was fabulous. I disliked the rest of the film...even the portrayal of dementia was so radically different of when my father suffered, that I didn't feel it was right...she just seemed a bit batty, rather us being witness to the horribleness of it

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  25. Great review John...this is one I'd like to see!

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  26. I had to stay behind in the cinema after the film had finished - I wanted to howl!

    Only the third film to do that behind Marley and me and Pearl harbour!

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  27. I had wanted to see this and now shall make sure i do so.

    I thought you were going to put Frodo/Rooster in with Beatrice. Sorry to hear V.T. is under the weather, hope she rallies very soon.

    megan

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  28. jellie!
    you cried at PEAL HARBOUR.? OH DEAR!

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