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Customer Review

67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big, Big Disappointment, April 15, 2012
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This review is from: The Iron Lady (Amazon Video)
UPDATE - April 8, 2013: I just wanted to take a moment to remember the real Margaret Thatcher, who died today. She was a great lady and I do hope that her strength, integrity and huge contributions to history will be remembered truthfully and fairly.

I so agree with what Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said regarding the senate resolution honoring Lady Thatcher, "Let me just say that Margaret was one of the most influential and revolutionary figures of the 20th century, and failing to name her achievements would do her memory and her legacy a great disservice. It would be unheard of to commemorate Churchill for example and ignore his heroic role in steering his countrymen through the battle of Britain, nor would we think of honoring Lincoln without mentioning the Civil War," McConnell said. He added: "Let's acknowledge the enormity of what she accomplished. Let's mention her achievements by name and the resolution does that because we owe her a tribute equal to her legacy."

Truer words were never spoken, and this sentiment very aptly applies to the movie THE IRON LADY. May she Rest In Peace. ~Linda~

ORIGINAL REVIEW - April 15, 2012: I cannot understand what they were thinking! An opportunity to make a movie about one of the MOST FASCINATING AND INFLUENTIAL WOMEN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. The greatest actress of our generation playing the lead. And this opportunity is squandered on a ditzy, artsy-fartsy script that examines the whole thing through the fictional fantasy lens of and elderly Margaret Thatcher's demented flashbacks - as if anyone actually knows what is really going on in the mind of a person with dementia. What a waste.

It started out OK. A lot of movies detailing the lives of great people start out in the first 10 minutes showing the main character in advanced old age and the main story is told in a long flashback. This kind of plot device was done very well in the movie "Chariots of Fire". I don't mind knowing that Margaret Thatcher is suffering from dementia - it is a fact and is not out of place in a story about her life. But the problem with "The Iron Lady" is that the story got stuck in the advanced old age segment and about 45 minutes into the movie, I realized that the makers of this bomb had no intention of examining the MAIN STORY at all. The WHOLE thing was about a lonely, demented old woman whose glory days have passed her by and now she is of no importance. I found myself heaving an involuntary sigh of exasperation when I was subjected to yet another imaginary conversation held in the "fictional" Mrs. Thatcher's hallucination world. What little factual and historically relevant information they included was hazy and spotty. The flow of the script is so disjointed that no sensible understanding of Margaret Thatcher's incredible life, accomplishments, family, or career can be gleaned from this self indulgent mess. The people involved in making this boring, pointless movie should be ashamed. I was expecting so much because it could have been great but was sorely disappointed.

A flick about an elderly woman suffering from dementia should have been saved for an arthouse fiction about dementia, not imposed on a life story of someone of this magnitude. Really, what could have been the motive for obsuring Margaret Thatcher's enormous contributions to the twentieth century? Could it be that the makers of this flick hated her and her politics and wanted to diminish and marginalize her but didn't have the courage to do it in an honest and up front fashion? That is the only thing I can figure out because this movie makes absolutely no sense at all. At best, it is a tawdry invasion of Mrs. Thatcher's and her family's privacy as she faces a slow and difficult death. Perhaps it is a fact that she is struggling with dementia, but the writers of this script are not privy to the details of how that is being played out and have been forced to fictionalize it to an absurd degree in order to have a story that leaves out who she really is. To magnify this small aspect of her life while brushing aside the bulk of her life's work is almost criminal.

There are only three good things that I have to say about this movie. First, the make up artist did an exceptional job of making Meryl Streep look extremely elderly. Most of the time, old age make up is sloppy and not believable, but I have to say that Ms. Streep really did look realisticly old in this movie. The second thing is that Meryl Streep did a great job of acting, as usual. It is a pity that she has no better judgement than to lend her great talent to a substandard production like this one. I have always had some respect for Ms. Streep, but after watching this movie, I have lost some of my former good opinion of her. The third thing was that the movie finally ended and I never have to see it again.

I will never get back the time and money I wasted watching this stupid show, but I can spare just a few extra minutes to warn you that this is a waste of time for anyone who wishes to actually know anything about Margaret Thatcher and her real life. Those facts are documented for anyone to see and no story teller needs to descend into outrageous liscence to make a movie with something worthwhile to say. If you want to make a moive about dementia, then make a movie about dementia. If you want to make a movie about Margaret Thatcher, then please, PLEASE make a true one.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 30, 2012 11:30:02 AM PDT
FYI says:
GREAT, thoughful, thought-provoking review - thanks for taking the time to share your perspective, and saving me time & money!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2012 5:04:12 PM PDT
BIGC says:
That you don't care for the movie is fine, but I find it ridiculous that you expect Meryl Streep or any other actor that signed on to be able to know how this film would turn out before it was finished! Was she supposed to know in advance when she signed on? That's whack and you should know better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2012 6:23:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 18, 2012 7:00:52 PM PDT
Hello BIGC! Thanks for your perspective. Perhaps you are right that she really didn't know what the movie was about, but I think that notion is a little far fetched.

To say that Ms. Streep would go into any project without first reading the screenplay just doesn't add up in the light of her stature and famed love of her profession. I have always thought that she is well known for being a "Method Actor". Maybe I was wrong in that assumption, but in any case, she is nothing if not 100% involved in every smallest detail of any role she plays. That is what makes her so good at what she does and also what makes me think it is so unlikely that she didn't know the kind of movie whe was acting in.

Not really sure what "whack" is, but I think I know what "nonsense" is, and to imply that someone as professional and intelligent as Meryl Streep simply wandered into the studio and played a blithering old woman, never knowing that her character was supposed to be the eminant Margaret Thatcher is nonsense.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 1:22:39 AM PDT
El Lobo says:
Don't these actors, like, get a copy of the script before they sign on?

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 1:42:45 PM PDT
James Clark says:
I agree with this reviewer's assessment. I watched this film last night eagerly expecting insite into one of the influentual figures 20th century. Using the vehicle of relating Thatcher's life as flashbacks of a demented old woman is a cop-out for the director and editors of the film. After all if it seems disjointed and doesn't flow well, it is just the "Storyteller" who is off. In spite of all the events in which Thatcher had a role, the film seemed to dwell on her post office years and state of mind. Meryl Streep is wonderful in the role, but the role does not do Maggie justice.

Posted on Feb 10, 2013 3:55:10 AM PST
Pluckydaddy says:
I am a great admirer of Maggie Thatcher and her politics and I enjoyed the movie (the acting, make-up, cinematography, & costumes were superb). I didn't perceive any agenda to demonize Mrs Thatcher but I agree with Linda's assertion that too much film time was devoted to Mrs. Thatcher's waning years, especially considering her enormous impact on late 20th century politics/governance.

Posted on Mar 7, 2013 1:33:04 PM PST
S. A. Felton says:
Great review. I thought MS was fantastic though, yet whatever any feels about Ms. Thatcher, to spend that much time showing her as an old lady with dementia was a total travesty and very disrespectful. I wonder how the writer and director will fare in their old age(s)?

Posted on Apr 9, 2013 1:52:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2013 1:55:10 PM PDT
R. J. Werner says:
"The third thing was that the movie finally ended and I never have to see it again." What a load of bunk! This film could have ended at any given time, just by deciding to no longer watch it. Yet despite the irritation and ill feelings about it, you decided to watch to the credits. However, I can entirely understand why you watched it to its end; after all, I read your entire review.

Posted on May 28, 2014 11:45:58 AM PDT
S. Smith says:
I believe there is a more authentic Iron Lady dvd; after reading your review, I think I'll check out the non-Hollywood version
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