OK for kids 13+
Streep is riveting in well-acted but underwhelming biopic.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Iron Lady follows the life of Margaret Thatcher from a humble grocer's daughter to the United Kingdom's prime minister. A few violent images are shown -- notably of the Falklands War and of upset demonstrators, as well as of a character being killed by a car bomb -- and in one news-footage scene, the bare breasts of a woman in a crowd are visible. Language is limited to "bloody" and "damn," and romance consists of a few sweet embraces, dances, and kisses between the Thatchers. The film's depiction of major historical and political events may not hook most teens, but this biopic offers a valuable lesson in both British and women's history.
- Families can talk about how The Iron Lady depicts Margaret Thatcher's rise to power. How is she portrayed? How can she inspire other young women?
- The scenes between Margaret and her late husband are all imagined, so the movie isn't a standard "biopic." Does that matter? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to take that route?
- Do you have to agree with Margaret Thatcher's politics to enjoy the movie? Do you think it's out to convey any specific agenda?
The good stuff
Messages: Margaret Thatcher's place in history, no matter how controversial, offers a positive example of the fact that you don't have to come from wealth and privilege to become a leader. Her discipline and commitment to public service are also inspiring, even for those who don't share her politics.
Role models: Margaret works hard from a young age and is deeply committed to the values and causes that her father taught her. Despite her relatively humble beginnings, she's accepted to Oxford and then becomes involved in local politics before eventually rising to become the first (and only) female prime minister in the UK's history. She's depicted as caring more about doing the "right" thing than the "popular" thing.
What to watch for
Violence: Footage of the Falklands War, as well as strategy conversations about how to proceed against the Argentines. In one jarring scene, Margaret's senior adviser is killed in a car bomb planted by the I.R.A.; the explosion occurs just moments after she speaks to him in a garage. References to the I.R.A. hunger strikers; a montage of English protesters demonstrating against Thatcher's policies.
Sex: In documentary news footage, there's a brief shot of a topless woman celebrating after the end of the Falklands War. Young Margaret and Dennis Thatcher flirt, dance, embrace, and kiss.
Language: British slang like "bloody," "bugger," "my God" (as an exclamation), and "barmy," as well as "damn" and "hell."
Consumerism: Quick glimpse of Charles Tyrwhitt menswear.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Margaret has a drink -- usually a nightcap -- daily. She's tipsy in one scene, as is the ghost of her husband.
Fan Reviews provided by
All About Meryl by mpanyc
Meryl Streep is astonishingly good as Margaret Thatcher. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie doesn't match up. The film is entertaining, but a bit all over the place. The flashbacks to Thatcher's youth and time in office are disjointed in that they aren't chronological, so it's difficult to get a sense of how things progressed unless you're already quite familiar with the major events of her tenure. And all told, not that much of her tenure in office is covered in the film. Having more of that would have helped to create a better sense of the whole person. However, Meryl makes up for everything, in that I was never bored.
Another Meryl Streep tour de force by sfk1017
Once again Ms. Streep shows what real dramatic talent is all about. She completely inhabits and is Margaret Thatcher. The stridency, ambition and forceful personality is on the mark, not to mention the look, clothing and mannerisms. This picture is a look back by Thatcher from her old age tinged witih dementia to her career as it was with no apologies, no explanations for who she was, what she believed, how she raised her children or otherwise. Nor is it meant to be. It is totally mesmerizing and highly recommended although it is more likely to be praised and appreciated by people over the age of 50 than anyone who is too young to remember her time in office.
Iron Lady by janncoles
Enjoyed the magnificent performance by Meryl Streep. Wonderful character study and portrayal of dementia's toll, but not certain that I know much more about Margaret Thatcher as a leader.
Iron Lady by flick_schtick
Meryl Streep's acting ability and appearance as Margaret Thatcher is superb, what else is new ....despite a long and tedious story that depicts Thatcher in her declining years, repeatedly having hallucinations of her dead husband. Not only did this not do credit to Mrs Thatcher, it missed the boat in telling her story. I left the theater knowing little more about her then when I walked in. What were they thinking when they approved this script? Kudos to the make-up and costume designers for getting it right!
The Iron Lady by jwelch5742
It was great film. It had wonderful performance for Meryl Streep and also it got great makeup.
Meryl Meryl Meryl by Nacho Baggo
Streep completely engrosses herself into being Thatcher. A perfect performance and I now have her in the lead for the Oscar over Michele Williams' MONROE.
Meryl fans, Thatcher fans, and Oscar fans should see Streep's performance. The movie itself is loosely put together with the constant memory flash backs by the present day Thatcher. Her halucinations with her deceased husband become a nuisance and are the majority of the films substance which paints Thatcher as a mad woman and is unflattering. The halucinations were used far too much.
See it at matinee prices. Streep nails it.
Iron Lady by stornay
Meryl Streep did an amazing job! Jim Broadbent was also wonderful. The film is a highly interesting character study of an important historical figure and definitely worth seeing.
A GREAT PORTRAYAL OF LEADERSHIP by DBee
Simply Terrific Film with a Brilliant Performance by Meryl Streep! One Can Only Hope That Because The Performance Demonstrates An Unwavering Will, That Ms Streep Also Shares The Same Principles of Conservative Leadership She Did So Well ln The Movie. Everyone Should See This Film and the British Should Be Proud of Meryl Streep's Portrayal of One of the UK's Greatest Leaders.
Where is Meryl by xchadster
From the makeup to the subtle nuance of her gaze or her walk, Meryl is virtually undetectable as she portrays Lady Margaret Thacher. Her performance is brilliant.
The movie highlights all that is important to know about this great lady and you will grow to love and understand just how difficult this woman's job was as the Prime Minister of Great Britian during the turbulent eighties.
I loved it and will go again.
She is amzing by eastport
Meryl Streep is truly amazing. In additon to the makeup - unlike the movie J.Edgar when I was so distratced by the bad makeup - here you cannot see anything but a real person. Her acting was superb and she MUST get the best actress award!
The flashbacks were great - not knowing as much as I should about Thatcher historically I must say in was great. Best was the showing of her dementia and aging and how she handled it - even lying to the doctor. The cast was amazing, the script incredible, and the lead and supporting actors all should get nods from the Academy. It is a little slow but definitely woth seeing on a big screen.