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The Iron Lady

748 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

THE IRON LADY is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Two-time Oscar® winner Meryl Streep), the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century’s most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world.

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Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, takes a less exuberant tack in this unexpectedly poignant biopic. In the script, written by Shame's Abi Morgan, Lloyd depicts the elderly Dame Thatcher (Streep in a thoroughly convincing performance) as a frail figure replaying key moments in her life while her mind still continues to function. Her trajectory begins with grocer Alfred Roberts (Downton Abbey's Iain Glen), who became the mayor of Grantham, instilling in his daughter, Margaret (Alexandra Roach), a passion for politics. After graduating from Oxford, she felt ready to enter the fray, at which point she met Denis Thatcher (Harry Lloyd), who cheered her along on the road from Parliament to 10 Downing Street, where they lived during her time as Britain's first female prime minister (Jim Broadbent portrays the grey-haired and ghostly Denis). While closing mines, dodging IRA hits, and overseeing a war, the blue-clad titan built alliances with Airey Neave (Nicholas Farrell) and Geoffrey Howe (Anthony Head), but she would lose them both. If her will was strong, she had no time for feminine niceties like conciliation and forgiveness. The film goes on to suggest that she never cultivated the kinds of female friendships that might have sustained her in retirement, though her daughter (Tyrannosaur's Olivia Colman) did what she could. Instead, Denis remained her closest confidante until his departure, after which she had nothing but fading memories. The upshot is an uneasy combination of admiration for her leadership qualities and disappointment in her interpersonal skills. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent
  • Directors: Phyllida Lloyd
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (748 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0059XTUVI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,483 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Iron Lady" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

395 of 447 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Sanchez VINE VOICE on January 15, 2012
Format: DVD
I saw this movie last night and I was looking forward to seeing it. I don't count myself as a fan of Thatcher's politics, but I do admire her as a person. She had an important role in the fall of the Soviet states and in transforming the American political role in the world. Therefore, I hoped to enjoy a biographical movie that of course would include much of the usual literary license that is part of the Hollywood operation.

What I got, though, left me empty. The role of Thatcher was certainly well performed by Streep and there is nothing for me to add from what others have stated and will state. I'm sure she will obtain another Oscar nomination. If that is all that interests you in movie going, then enjoy! But for those of you with more of an intellectual side, I would suggest waiting for the DVD to rent.

The central problem I believe is that the makers wanted to portray the strong, independent woman, but I have to believe that they dislike her politics and they could not allow a movie viewer the opportunity to agree with the conservatism of Thatcher-especially in a presidential election year. They missed no chance to attach a failure (implied or factual) for any Thatcher success and if that wasn't enough, they portrayed her as a lonely, dementia suffering, old woman for whom time has left behind and for whom the political world has completely forgotten. Here is what troubled me the most; this is a movie about an important political ally for whom one would be ashamed to show the movie to that person. Well, one Should be ashamed anyways.

What also troubles me is that Streep has too much say so in her movies at this stage of her career. She should have stepped in and said, "Enough with these hallucinations, let's show more of this woman's actual career!" Too bad she did not.
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160 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Poogy on December 21, 2011
Format: DVD
I saw The Iron Lady right before it was widely released, and felt that expectations that Meryl Streep's performance would be incredible were fully justified. Having seen her in many roles, this was not surprising--she's widely regarded as one of the greatest living actresses--but her transformation here into an elderly woman, including the accent, the makeup, the attitudes and personality, is nothing short of astonishing. Thatcher's very conservative politics and abrasive manner are of course very controversial--and this portrayal of them is very timely. To be sure, if you're very sympathetic to Thatcher's politics, you may find this portrayal of her unsympathetic or even offensive; some clearly have. But regardless of the viewer's politics, I can't imagine anyone watching this and not feeling he or she has seen something remarkable.

The story of Thatcher's life is told through a series of flashbacks experienced by the woman long after she left office as the British prime minister with the longest tenure of the 20th century, and its first woman PM. We see how she entered politics, met her husband, rose to power, earned the Iron Lady nickname, and was pushed from office by her own party. For those unfamiliar with her life and politics, it's educational, at least superficially. An attempt is made to deviate from the straightforward biopic format by having Thatcher's mind failing during her old age, resulting in hallucinations about her deceased husband punctuating the film. This device is effective, but still, this is not a great film. It's a not-quite-conventional movie about the life of one historical figure, made interesting primarily by Streep's stunning ability to inhabit her subject, and thereby not only cause us to appreciate Streep's art, but also feel at least a little compassion for an aging woman no longer in power.
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72 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Bridget K. Stenger on January 26, 2012
Format: DVD
This was the worst lost opportunity. So much of the movie was spent in her present day dementia talking to her late husband Dennis. The Cold War was not even covered except a shot of her dancing with Reagan! We get it - the artistic license to illustrate how we can miss a truly great person in a store and only see an old woman. Got it. Could have illustrated that in 4 mins. Instead it became the most boring time spent with a woman we don't know in her apartment. The point of a movie is to TELL A STORY. Not ramble about in present day - we can do that at the mall. And this is one of the most exciting stories of recent times! This woman lead a REMARKABLE life. Yet, you could not find ONE event in the Cold War to cover? You could not spend more time in her years in Parliament? It was so boring. Last year's King's Speech illustrates all that this movie is not - do not stray from the story. Just chronologically move through the storyline. The story is already powerful - let it speak for itself. It is Oscar material and they missed the mark. And Meryl Streep was AMAZING. But she could not save the boring travesty that this script reveals. The screenwriters on this film should never work in this industry again. One of the WORST. I wish I could get my ticket price and 2 hours back.
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98 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Fowler VINE VOICE on January 20, 2012
Format: DVD
Let me begin by saying that I think Meryl Streep is perhaps the most talented actress to EVER appear in films. It is no coincidence that she has been nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globes more often than any other person.

That being said, "The Iron Lady" is neither a "crown jewel" nor a "feather in her cap."

There must have been a powerful draw to portray Dame Margaret Thatcher, the first (and so far, only) female Prime Minister of Great Britain. But when I think of recent "real-life" biopics like "Ray" or "The King's Speech" (or even "Julie & Julia", which featured Streep as famed Chef Julia Child), "The Iron Lady" falls short. Far short.

The film is anchored in a recent time - with Mrs. Thatcher an old widow, at least a little demented and frequented by hallucinations of her dead husband, played by Jim Broadbent in maybe the film's best performance. The rest of the film is told in clumsy flashbacks, but always returns to doddering old Maggie - Ms. Streep under an often distractingly bad pile of makeup. Old Margaret shuffles around the house, looks confused, stares out the window, and absolutely sucks any life from the narrative. (Here the fault lies not with Ms. Streep, but with the screenplay and direction. And perhaps editor. Was there no one putting the final product together who looked at "the forest" and noticed "hey... we've got about half of the running time devoted to old Margaret shuffling around, getting in and out of bed, etc.?
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