It’s already clear how Meryl Streep‘s Oscar-bait performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (20th Century Fox, late December) is going to be sold. One, as a tribute to a woman “who came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world.” And two, as a respectful salute to a tough, steely conservative who doesn’t seem so bad compared to the Palin-Bachmann tea-bagger wackos.

Jim Broadbent (l.)as Denis Thatcher and Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady.