Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady. The Iron Lady won an Oscar for Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Makeup.
Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady. The Iron Lady won an Oscar for Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Makeup.

Streep steely in turn as Iron Lady


Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Rated: PG-13

Reviewer: Rebecca Marshall

MERYL Streep's Margaret Thatcher mesmerises, causing neck hairs to stand on end and goosebumps to spring suddenly from skin pores.

While make-up, false teeth and hair certainly helped cement the exterior resemblance, the way Streep manages to infiltrate Thatcher's skin, her walk, her accent, head tilt, chin jut and steely stare truly captivates.

Director Phyllida Lloyd jumps from present day to past very often, but the transitions are seamless and never confusing.

The movie follows a fairly slow chronological path with clipped simplicity, showing a younger Margaret (played by the excellent Alexandra Roach) meeting husband Denis and firmly telling him she will not be a wife content to just cook and clean.

There are glimpses of her selfishness, ambition and narcissism as she gains more political power eventually becoming the western world's first elected female leader.

Many argue Thatcher's single-minded dictatorial style crippled the country, but here she is applauded for making the tough decisions while surrounded by "weak" men.

This is a tribute to a flawed and determined character, not an accurate record of a historical figure.

But it hardly seems to matter when it provides a vehicle for the world's greatest film actress to shine in a role that surely must yield her a third Oscar.

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