“The Iron Lady” asks one big question: Will Meryl Streep win yet another Best Actress Oscar?
She will receive a nomination, without a doubt, for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. Meryl is amazing, but this performance has a “been there, done that” feeling to it. Meryl gets a makeover (including some perfect stunt teeth), nails the accent and brings her normal spectacular work. (There are other actresses, though, whose 2011 performances are, in my mind, more Oscar-worthy.)
The movie has a familiar structure. We see an aged, shuffling Maggie Thatcher, who has delusions that her late husband (played by Jim Broadbent) is still with her. Flashbacks take us through the major moments of her life and career.
Unlike “The Queen” and “The King’s Speech,” which keyed on one major crisis in the title character’s life, “The Iron Lady,” takes us through several crises faced during her time as British Prime Minister. Also, those other two movies (which led to Oscars for lead actors) dealt with royals, whereas “Iron Lady” is the story of an elected official. Still, the British thing lends a certain quality that enchants Oscar voters. So don’t count Meryl out.
Margaret Thatcher was a great ally for the US during her eleven years as PM. She certainly broke down gender barriers and provided decisive leadership during a critical time in world history. But—is her biopic a “must see?” Not really.
If you are a Meryl Streep fan, you will want to see this film and you will admire her work in it. If you are a movie fan who likes to check out all the Oscar nominees, get there. Otherwise, I have difficulty finding a compelling reason to suggest you see “The Iron Lady.”