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The Iron Lady


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#1

TWoP Dietrich

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Posted Jan 2, 2012 @ 8:10 PM

It's out somewhere (I'm going to guess New York and Los Angeles), so here's a thread, I guess.

#2

C0mputerGeek

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Posted Jan 7, 2012 @ 12:41 PM

It's out somewhere (I'm going to guess New York and Los Angeles), so here's a thread, I guess.

I saw it in Los Angeles.

I am not a fan of swapping back and forth between the present and the future in story teller. It usually feels choppy to me. I'd much rather the script start at some earlier point in life and then move forward.

Perhaps that's why I was not such a fan of this film. The editing feels off and I hate the constant jumping back and forth between the present day Margaret Thatcher and the story.

It was easy enough to follow, but the flow seemed jarring and less natural. Especially since it's clear, and I did not know this before I saw the film, that Margaret Thatcher suffers from Alzheimer's and/or dementia. I felt the viewing audience was really hit over the head with the message (more than once!).

This wouldn't be a problem if I had been able to connect with the character, but I never really got a feel for what drove her. I wish we had been presented with more scenes to help me connect with the character and fewer scenes of seing her as a doddering senile fool.

Having said all of this, Meryl Steeps shines as "The Iron Lady" and will certainly deserve any nomination she gets during the awards season.

The aging makeup was fabulous. They did a wonderful job with aging Meryl Streep to show the present-day Margaret Thatcher.

#3

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Posted Jan 7, 2012 @ 7:20 PM

I am not a fan of swapping back and forth between the present and the future in story teller. It usually feels choppy to me. I'd much rather the script start at some earlier point in life and then move forward.

I haven't seen this movie yet, but nonlinear storytelling has become a real crutch in movies like this. I don't have a problem with it on principle; several of my favorite 2011 movies used it. But I feel like it's usually used in biopics in a lazy way, when the writer can't figure out how else to give the script a bit of oomph.

Edited by Redtracer, Jan 7, 2012 @ 7:21 PM.


#4

A Boston Gal

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Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 5:24 PM

This was just sloppy, plain and simple, and did a real disservice to any film out there (can't think of one at the moment) that has ever used flashbacks to good effect. There was no rhyme or reason to why we would see a teenage Margaret one moment, a middle aged one the next, and a young mother Margaret third.

Here's a non-newsflash: I knew the moment a young Margaret told her fiance Dennis "I don't want to die washing a teacup", that the very last thing we'd see Streep do as Thatcher was wash a damn teacup.

After this and bizarre mess that was "Mama Mia", it's official. I hate Phyllida Law. Although C0mputerGeek is right; the makeup was great, and I could not take my eyes off of Meryl's substantial double chin.

Edited by A Boston Gal, Jan 16, 2012 @ 5:25 PM.


#5

Empress1

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Posted Jan 16, 2012 @ 6:40 PM

Having said all of this, Meryl Steeps shines as "The Iron Lady" and will certainly deserve any nomination she gets during the awards season.

The aging makeup was fabulous. They did a wonderful job with aging Meryl Streep to show the present-day Margaret Thatcher.

The makeup really was amazing. The artist is sure to win the Oscar. And Streep was brilliant, and I thought the young Thatcher was good too. But I agree that the movie was missing something. My mom and grandmother adored it it though. And I don't know too much about Thatcher so I enjoyed the history lesson. she really seemed to be a tough broad, and I mean that as a compliment.

#6

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Posted Jan 18, 2012 @ 2:18 PM

I was disappointed in the amount of time it spent focused on a doddering, present-day MT-in-Decline. We only saw a couple of scenes from her childhood that shaped the person who was arguably the most powerful woman in the 20th century. We didn't see any of her university years, or how/why she became interested in politics. She was president of the Conservatives at Oxford -- how did she win that office, being not only a woman, but also decidedly middle class? Nothing was mentioned of her studies at Oxford or that she was an attorney. I would have liked to have seen more than just a few snippets of what it would have been like for her, in the 1960s, as one of the few women MPs in what was a male-dominated arena. We only saw a few glimpses of that -- her as a bright blue dot in a sea of black pinstriped suits, her getting the "hysterical woman" card thrown at her, etc. But more of how she broke into the Tory leadership would have been a better use of time than seeing her fiddle with the DVD player, drink more gin, or have additional imaginary conversations with Dennis.

I did enjoy MT's juxtaposition that in her day, the emphasis was on doing something, and today, everyone just wants to be someone -- perfectly sums up celebrity worship and culture of narcissism we now live in.

Edited by annlaw78, Jan 23, 2012 @ 12:20 PM.


#7

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Posted Jan 21, 2012 @ 7:56 PM

I found this to be kind of a frustration film to watch because there was a lot of stuff I loved, but there was also stuff I I really didn't.

The biggest positive obviously is Meryl Streep as Margret Thatcher. I'm still personally rooting Viola Davis to win the Oscar for The Help, but Meryl was amazing in this role. She was just spot-on in pretty much every scene, and there were times I almost forgot she was Meryl, which is impressive for an actress as big as she is. She mad Margret a fascinating character to watch and even root for, despite her negative traits (her dressing down Geoffrey at the meeting was cold of her and I can see why that was the straw that broke a lot of her colleges backs.) But in the end, I could see that Margret was a tough woman in a man's world at the time, and she needed to do what she felt she needed to do to try and fix the country, feelings and popularity be damned. I just wish some current politicians would do the same thing right now. Overall, the story was pretty interesting to watch.

The supporting cast was great, mainly lead by Jim Broadbent. But it was great seeing other familiar faces like Anthony Head, Nick Dunning, and three (!) people from Game of Thrones: Iain Glenn, Roger Allam, and Harry Lloyd! It was great seeing Harry play a nice guy after being creepy as fuck as Viserys.

But with all that said, I hated the editing and the flow of the movie. I'm usually OK with some time jumping, but the way this film did it just bugged me and was kind of jarring. It just didn't work for me. And I did feel like a lot of important stuff about her life wasn't in here; I would have liked to have seen more about her at Oxford, her being an attorney, her family life, etc. I guess they couldn't make the film too long, but I wish they found a way.

So, I guess my verdict is that it was a great story and a perfect performance in a mediocre film. I'm glad I saw it, but I really wish they had another director or something, that could have made it the classic it should be.

Edited by thuganomics85, Jan 21, 2012 @ 7:57 PM.


#8

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Posted Jan 30, 2012 @ 12:25 AM

I was really disappointed by this movie. The performances were strong, but the plot was really lackluster.

There was no reason to make Margaret's dementia the backbone of the movie. It isn't the most interesting part of her life and it feels disrespectful to make up a story about her interacting with her husband's ghost.

Much more time should have been devoted to things Margaret actually did. She must have been an excellent public speaker to stand for election in the 1950s as a young unmarried woman, but we barely see that. The movie shows the political unrest of Britain during the 1980s but doesn't really show how she managed to hold on to power through all that.

#9

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Posted Feb 5, 2012 @ 2:02 PM

What a bizarre movie.

The amount of time spent on present-day Margaret is just ridiculous. And I'm not even sure I understood the point of all those conversations with Denis. The major focus on them seems to indicate that the movie wants us to see him as the key to Margaret's life. But why do we see so little of him when she was at her most powerful? Most of his scenes are just him telling her that it's time to go to bed. So what were we supposed to take away from the present-day scenes?

I have to laugh at the idea of either liberals or conservatives getting upset about this movie's portrayal of Thatcher as a political figure. I don't think I've ever seen a film less committed to having a political position. And I don't mean that the film is neutral. Rather, it goes out of its way to avoid showing as much of her political career as possible. The film devotes the most time probably to the Falklands War, and I'd say that takes up a total of about four minutes. Four minutes. That's inexcusable. Most of the other political stuff is presented without context (like the assassination of Airey Neave) and quickly discarded, before the movie has to go to the trouble of showing how such incidents actually affected Thatcher.

Also, this movie must set some kind of new record for use of archival footage. The budget was probably small, so I'm not expecting the Falklands War or miners' strike to be completely recreated or anything, but using an excessive amount of news footage to try to convey their meanings is just lazy.

I have two positive things to say: the makeup was indeed terrific, and Harry Lloyd was kind of amusing as young Denis. Meryl Streep was okay in the present-day scenes, but I thought she almost tipped into campiness in the flashbacks.

Please stop giving Phyllida Lloyd money, movie people. You're only enabling her.

#10

A Boston Gal

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Posted Feb 5, 2012 @ 5:02 PM

Please stop giving Phyllida Lloyd money, movie people. You're only enabling her.


Amen.

#11

gwalhaved

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Posted Feb 17, 2012 @ 1:17 PM

I thought this movie was remarkable. At its center was the indomitable force that is Meryl Streep and her portrayal as MT was awesome. I think Meryl Streep really got inside the head of this woman and that was what the movie was all about, who she really was, not her politics, not what she did, but her essence. I will always carry the words she said to her husband close to my heart, how she wanted more than to be just a housewife, she didn't want to die washing a teacup in the kitchen sink, and even though that's the last thing we saw her do, it wasn't the only thing she had done and it was her own cup and she wanted to wash it. MT wanted it all long before women burned their bras and formed NOW. I could really relate to her on that level, her being a woman who wanted to make a real difference in a man's world. I could deal with the stream of consciousness style of the movie because I felt that that was what MT was going through at the time - how those suffering from dementia have memories triggered by objects or similar events. It was a very well done character study, if nothing else.

I did enjoy MT's juxtaposition that in her day, the emphasis was on doing something, and today, everyone just wants to be someone -- perfectly sums up celebrity worship and culture of narcissism we now live in.

Reality TV in a nutshell.

#12

RL1

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Posted Feb 29, 2012 @ 12:39 AM

Ah......this movie was not that great. I thought the Nick Nolte film was much better, thank you.

#13

Diane Chambers

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Posted Feb 29, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Yeah, Nolte made a much better Thatcher!

Interesting that The Iron Lady won the third most Academy Awards of any film this year (2, for Meryl and Make-Up) - behind Hugo and The Artist, which both netted five). Who would've thought?

#14

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 7:09 PM

Just rented the DVD tonight. Gave up on it, though. It was kinda boring, I guess. And a little depressing. I don't understand why the focus of the movie was MT with Alzheimer's.

#15

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

I only watched the first hour and when nothing happened, I gave up. It felt like it never got going..and with the flashbacks, they felt wasted as they added nothing to the story.

I wanted to know so much more about her. Politically, she was controversial but she was a smart, conservative woman..a rare breed..and they focus on making her look like an old fool? I feel like whoever wrote this wanted to make her be the female Ronald Reagen-the latter years..

Streep was great as Thatcher and earned her Oscar but beyond that I have never more frustrated by a film as I have this one..and it is by far the most hate I have felt towards a film since "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past". "Ghosts" still is worse than this but this is a close second.

Glad I only Netflixed it.

#16

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 3:55 PM

We rented this the other night and it was just so boring. Such a waste of wonderful performances and a great biopic subject. I actually think that with a better director and editor this would've been an excellent movie.

#17

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Posted Jun 2, 2012 @ 9:22 PM

I came out of this movie kind of hating her. She was cold and lacked charisma. She treated her colleagues like crap. She was arrogant. And I thought Young Margaret was weirdly pallid and monotone.

I could see her as a strong leader, but by no means an inspiring one.

C+.

#18

SDcat2009

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Posted Jan 26, 2013 @ 5:18 PM

I was able to watch this recently and thought it was great. I took the jumping around in time as being an indicator of her remembering her life through her later years dementia. I thought it was effective.

And needless to say, Meryl Streep was remarkable and I often forgot it was her in the part.

#19

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Posted Jan 26, 2013 @ 11:51 PM

This was terrible. Never understood the Streep obsession with this film. She was good in other films, but not this.