Yesterday I should have posted Xan Brooks’ Guardian comments, dated 11.14, on Meryl Streep‘s “astonishing, all-but-flawless” performance as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (Weinstein Co., 12.30). He also notes that while the film “prints the legend,” it “keeps the dissent on spartan rations…it’s a movie that gives us Thatcher without Thatcherism.”
Streep’s performance is “a masterpiece of mimicry which re-imagines Thatcher in all her half-forgotten glory,” Brooks writes. “Streep has the basilisk stare; the tilted, faintly predatory posture. Her delivery, too, is eerily good — a show of demure solicitude, invariably overtaken by steely, wild-eyed stridency.
“The film provides glimpses of a blustering Michael Foot, and archive footage from the poll tax riots. At one stage angry protesters slap on the window of the heroine’s limo to tell her she’s ‘a monster’. Yet there’s little sense of the outside world, the human cost, or the ripple effect of divisive government policies.
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd from an Abi Morgan script, The Iron Lady “opts for a breezy, whistle-stop tour through the unstable nitroglycerin of Thatcher’s life and times. The tone is jaunty and affectionate, a blend of Yes Minister and The King’s Speech, fuelled by flashbacks that bob us back through authorized history.”