From the moment I saw the trailer, I knew that I had to see The Iron Lady. That voice was unmistakable and to see that it was someone like Meryl Streep performing that particular duty I was very impressed with her on the strength of the two minutes or whatever it was of the trailer, I thought that a nomination for some sort of award was going to come her way.
It has and she has been nominated for her role as Margaret Thatcher in this biopic on the political life of one of Britain’s longest-serving Prime Ministers and still the only female one we have had. The movie focusses on key moments in Thatcher’s time in 10 Downing Street and also her downfall. Did her passion for trying to make a difference cloud her judgement and contribute to her eventually being ousted from office?
The cast is brilliant, with Jim Broadbent, Anthony Stewart-Head, Richard E Grant all supporting Streep in the top jobs. For me though, it was the performance of Olivia Colman that a particular highlight, the Hot Fuzz actress carrying off Carol Thatcher’s own distinctive voice complete with speech impediment exactly. The movie is filmed from the perspective of Thatcher looking back at her career as the old woman that she has now become and some of the time switches from present day to the past are nicely done so in that aspect the film is well made.
However, there is a lot of hype that Streep is going to win Best Actress hands down this year. I’m not so sure. Yes Streep is very good in the role and I think that the Best Makeup gong will go to this film, but put the voice aside and I think that most female actors of Streep’s ability and age could have pulled this off with just as much ease. I have a feeling that the British films are going to struggle this year and this is no exception. The Academy went all out last year to accommodate the UK film industry with The King’s Speech and I don’t think they will do it again this year, my thoughts are that Viola Davis is going to win this award for The Help which I have still to see, but she walked away with the Best Actress award at the Screen Actors Guild awards just last week.
In conclusion then, I liked the film and enjoyed Streep’s performance, but a lot of the subject matter seemed rushed, and with so much happening in the 11 years Thatcher was in power, I think that the film should have perhaps focussed on one particular event rather than brushing over them all in turn in just a few minutes. I give the movie a 6.5/10 and would say that political drama fans will enjoy it, but it’s not as good as the hype makes it out to be and I think the number of nominations with only two reflects this and agrees with my assessment of the movie. Here is the trailer…and a review from The Domestic Goddess =)