papeetepatrick

"The Iron Lady"

43 posts in this topic

Thanks for posting, Patrick. Like her or not, Streep doesn't do sensationalism for its own sake. (She did play an accused murderer in A Cry in the Dark, in the most unshowy manner possible.) Biopics will continue to be made and actors will continue to star in them. Streep is a good choice for Thatcher, although Emma Thompson also springs to mind, but the current director is Phyllida Lloyd, who worked with Streep on Mamma Mia! Note that Streep hasn't signed on the dotted line just yet. Jim Broadbent is supposed to play Denis. Can't wait for that. But of course the key question is: who will play Norman Tebbit? John Nott? If Peter Morgan is writing the screenplay, will he work in a flash-forward to Michael Sheen as Tony Blair?

The movie is set during the 17 days that preceded the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands and the ensuing 10-week war. As the storm brewed, Ms Thatcher's popularity was on the wane. Britain's triumph altered the public perception of her, and she won the 1983 election with a parliamentary majority of 144 – the most comprehensive of her election victories. However, it was the sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano, with the loss of 368 lives, that marked the most controversial moment of her career.

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The movie is set during the 17 days that preceded the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands and the ensuing 10-week war. As the storm brewed, Ms Thatcher's popularity was on the wane. Britain's triumph altered the public perception of her, and she won the 1983 election with a parliamentary majority of 144 – the most comprehensive of her election victories. However, it was the sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano, with the loss of 368 lives, that marked the most controversial moment of her career.

The conflict with Argentina wasn't the most controversial moment of MT's career by any means. It followed an invasion of British territory, islands peopled entirely by British nationals, even the far left opposition of the time led by Michael Foot supported retaliation against the aggressors. Few if any opposed this; the actual nadir of her career was the Poll Tax riots and led to her eventual overthrow.

As has been pointed out in the comments attached to that link, Thatcher was and is loathed by millions of UK citizens who saw their livelihoods destroyed by Thatcher's destruction of British industry, moving the country from manufacturing output to service industries. Miners, steel workers, ship builders, saw their traditional jobs disappear forever leaving whole swathes of the country mired in long-term unemployment and hopelessness, with the only opportunities on offer stacking supermarket shelves at the minimum wage. Thatcher also brought in banking deregulation which led to the current UK financial crisis with Britain now in hock to China. Put simply she was brilliant at foreign policy but useless at home affairs.

If this film goes ahead it will be appalling timing as Argentina has started kicking off about the Falklands yet again, but I really can’t see why anyone would want to make such a film in her lifetime. Wait till she’s no longer with us and then dish up the truth.

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Argentina's funny that way, I guess. :)

There's no reason to think the movie will be hostile, at least on the evidence presented here. I agree that the selection of the Falklands War as the subject was probably the safest aspect of the Thatcher regime to dramatize, especially if you want to make her look good along with the unavoidable negatives.

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It's all set - Streep is invading the Falklands.

.........Streep has a phalanx of Brit thespians in supporting roles. Notably, Jim Broadbent stars as Thatcher's husband Denis; "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Anthony Head is Geoffrey Howe, a key Cabinet colleague of Thatcher's. Streep also reunites with her "Mamma Mia" director Phyllida Lloyd for the film, but I'm assuming the tone and look of the biopic will be drastically different!

With Broadbent and Head in support, this could be fun. I hope Phyllida Lloyd has learned something about moviemaking since Mamma Mia, good dumb fun though it was.

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Thanks, Mashinka. I quite enjoyed some of those posts in the comments section. "Bulldog chewing a wasp." :)

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Streep has always had her famous gift for accents and mimicry and a kind of sculptural approach to creating a character. Way back when I used to find this impressive, almost incredible, but somehow not quite engaging. But nowadays I find her to be one of the most consistently entertaining actors in movies, and just about the only one who'll get me to go to a film based solely on her being in it. This brief preview already looks promising. IMDB gives a December 16 U.S. release date. I can't wait!

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She's a more relaxed presence these days. Maybe all the fluffy light comedies she's been playing in have helped. I liked "It's Complicated" much better than I thought I would. I would still like to see her in something more substantial and it would be nice if this biopic is it.

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She's always engaging, even when the film is not. I'm on the same boat of those who would go see the film just because she's on it. :clapping:

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It'd be great if Streep would take a SCTV improvision approach and slip back and forth between Julia Child and Margaret Thatcher – also Karen Blixen.

Who played Rupert Murdoch? and more importantly, who is going to play "steel lady" Rebekah Brooks in the sequel?

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Thanks, Mashinka. I quite enjoyed some of those posts in the comments section. "Bulldog chewing a wasp." :)

Mashinka, you are right to enjoy the posts in the comments section as they reveal the long held distress engendered by Margaret Thatcher's government and the continuing disenchantment with subsequent UK governments.

I have never before heard the expression, "Bulldog chewing a wasp", but I do however get the picture.

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A clip from the film in today's Guardian with unsurprising readers' comments at the end. I must say Streep is very impressive in the way she has picked up on Thatcher's mannerisms.

Very scary!

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Who played Rupert Murdoch? and more importantly, who is going to play "steel lady" Rebekah Brooks in the sequel?

If Nicole Kidman would consider going back to her original hair the role of Brooks is one she could knock out of the park.

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It'd be great if Streep would take a SCTV improvision approach and slip back and forth between Julia Child and Margaret Thatcher – also Karen Blixen.

Great idea. Maybe a scene in which Streep makes Broadbent breakfast, a la Woman of the Year:

The Iron Chef Lady

Paul/Denis: Darling, don't you think perhaps you're overdoing it with the chopped onions?

Julia/Margaret (continuing her merciless destruction of the bulbs with an enormous butcher's knife): Certainly not! I may be persuaded to forgo the beans; the haggis, however, is absolutely non-negotiable.

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Has anybody seen La Streep as La Tatcher...? It could be the fact that I love them both for which I found the film, without being a super biopic, just great only because of Meryl's mere presence. As a kid in Cuba I always remember how the government couldn't stand the Tatcher-Reagan duo. We in our family, on the other side and silently, gave them all our sympathy. Go Tatcher, go Streep, gooooo!

I smell Oscar on the air...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSiXVVdw0Yc

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The film is getting about 2 1/2 stars from reviewers. But I think I'll go see it anyway. I spent a lot of time in Argentina in 2010, and Las Islas Malvinas were a hot topic for President Cristina Kirchner. Ironic that she reminds me a bit of The Iron Lady (except for the Peronism, of course).

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Your family was sadly misinformed, Cristian. One understands how and why the false impressions were formed, of course.

I certainly plan to see it, but then like Cristian I'm a Streep fan. I understand the movie avoided some of the political shoals by concentrating on Thatcher in her troubled dotage, not a bad idea. I wasn't terribly impressed with Lloyd's direction of "Mamma Mia!" but it was her maiden effort and perhaps she's learning.

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Here in the UK it's the most popular film, currently No 1 in the chart, but it is mostly young people that are packing out the cinemas, Those of us that lived through the Thatcher years want to forget them.

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Your family was sadly misinformed, Cristian. One understands how and why the false impressions were formed, of course.

Oh, on the contrary. The government always tried to document and make available every single bit of Tatcher's moves and political posture, believe me. Taking sides on that matters definitely implied accepting her points of view. Just as with my rigid/non tolerant theater behavior philosophy, taking Tatcher's side-(as well as Reagan's)-was just a matter of the "If you're not with me you're against me" mantra. Never been a fan of the gray area.

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Here in the UK it's the most popular film, currently No 1 in the chart, but it is mostly young people that are packing out the cinemas, Those of us that lived through the Thatcher years want to forget them.

It's been playing in the large cities but just extended to more theaters this week. In my area it's playing in one of the art houses.

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The movie doesn’t really work, although one acknowledges the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t aspects of the enterprise. The flashbacks might have been constructed with more clarity and the historical timeline is flouted regularly. Thatcher is celebrated as a Woman Who Made a Difference but the enduring ramifications of the Difference go carefully unexplored. She is also presented as a feminist role model, if not a particularly inspirational one from some viewpoints. ("Girls! You too can humiliate cabinet members, throw millions into unemployment, and send old age pensioners to hospital with hypothermia! ")The Falklands War is the only historic incident treated in any real detail.

The sequences that show Thatcher being groomed for the leadership are effective. I particularly liked the scene where Thatcher lectures her doctor for substituting the squishy "feel" for "think." Streep is terrific, even by her standards – a moving performance. The supporting cast is also excellent, although Jim Broadbent is not well served by the way in which the shade of Denis keeps popping up at odd times. I enjoyed Harry Lloyd and Alexandra Roach as the young couple, Richard E. Grant is a slinky Michael Heseltine, and Anthony Head, demoted from Prime Minister to put-upon deputy, is fine as Geoffrey Howe.

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I saw The Iron Lady last week. Like those who have already posted about the movie, I think the best feature of it is Meryl Streep's incredible performance. I didn't like the way the movie kept jumping back and forth in time. I think it would have been better is Iron Lady had just concentrated on the years Thatcher was being groomed for the leadership of the Conservative party and then her years as Prime Minister. I thought Streep was particularly amazing as the elderly Thatcher, but it made me feel very sad. Also, does anyone know if Thatcher is really in such bad shape mentally (seeing and talking to her husband, Denis, eight years after his death for example). Is the screenplay just taking a lot of liberties with the life of the elderly Thatcher?

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I also want to add that I find Thatcher fascinating, but not at all admireable. As has already been mentioned, she did not care about the common people at all. Look what she did to the coal miners (captured very well in the movie and musical Billy Elliot). And how many British subjects were living in the Falklands when Thatcher's gov't went to war over it. And comparing the Falklands to the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor when she was meeting with Secretary of State, Alexander Haig. Did Haig really say nothing when Thatcher brought up that ridiculous analogy? Did that meeting really happen. I should do some online research and try to find out.

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Also, does anyone know if Thatcher is really in such bad shape mentally (seeing and talking to her husband, Denis, eight years after his death for example). Is the screenplay just taking a lot of liberties with the life of the elderly Thatcher?

She probably is, Colleen - an Alzheimer's diagnosis speaks for itself, really. Thatcher's daughter has spoken out on her mother's illness and she did say that Thatcher often didn't remember her husband was dead. No doubt the scenes of Thatcher in decline are mostly imagined, but it doesn't mean the filmmakers are trying to show her in a poor light thereby - on the contrary. (When the senile Thatcher sees television footage of a terrorist attack, she imagines she is still PM and her immediate response is that condolences must be sent.)

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