The Movie Waffler New Release Review - The Iron Lady | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - The Iron Lady

Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Alexandra Roach

The biopic is a tricky genre. If the character doesn't interest you to begin with chances are you won't enjoy the movie.
On the other hand, if you know the subject inside out you'll probably be left disappointed. How do you tell the story of someone's life in less than two hours? For me the best biopics are those that choose to focus on one specific period or incident in the subject's life. This is not one of those.
You would think it would be impossible to make a boring movie about such a controversial figure yet somehow Lloyd has. Ever seen one of those TV shows where each episode takes a year from the past and plays the chart hits of the year over footage of the main news stories? Well half the running time of this is like watching one of those episodes on fast forward. All the major points of Thatchers reign, the Falklands, the miner's strike, poll tax etc are skimmed through in two minute segments. The rest of the movie uses the cheap technique of a senile Thatcher and the ghost of her husband Dennis forming a tacky Greek chorus.
Streep is fantastic, especially in the scenes were she plays Thatcher in her prime years. Sadly these scenes give her nothing to sink her teeth into, the movie scrambles from one scenario to another as if desperate not to be seen to either demonise or be sympathetic towards the character.
The only time we see the potential of how good this could have been is the Falklands sequence, if the movie had chosen this as it's main focus it would have been a lot more satisfying.