If a thief does a beautiful job stealing, he’s still a thief. After seeing The Iron Lady, I feel robbed. Here is what happened, or what it looked like: The King’s Speech was a huge success and so was, a few years ago, the french La Vie En Rose. Seeing this, Phyllida Lloyd (the director) or Abi Morgan (the scenarist), whoever came up with the idea first, thought “Let’s choose an important but unpopular politician, have a great performer doing him or her, film it the same way they did Edith Piaf, and we’ll be sure to own a success”.
The choice of storyline is easy and not so well executed. And, on top of that, I don’t see what story the movie is telling us. It doesn’t makes us appreciate Margaret Thatcher, which is certainly a wise thing but doesn’t help us appreciate the movie surrounding her. It tries to give an insight of politics at this time in England, partly succeed, but doesn’t go really deep. It mentions Thatcher’s family life but doesn’t really go with it either. It’s like they had a subject but couldn’t choose an angle to talk about it.
Meryl Streep, here, gives a top level performance and that’s what fooled us all. I was saying last week that a great idea could make a great movie but called for greatness in the acting and directing. Here we have the great acting but nothing above it – or under it, depending on your point of view.
I often admire conmen such as Thomas Crown in his affair or Neal Caffrey on White Collar but then realize that their victims wouldn’t feel the same. I guess I could admire The Iron Lady if I wasn’t one of the victims.
Besides Meryl Streep’s acting, the thing I can give them credit for is the poster, she certainly is warning me with her mocking condescending look: “Watch out, you’re about to be really disappointed by us”.