First off, Meryl Streep makes a jaw-droppingly good Margaret Thatcher. I think she could play Robert Mugabe if she put her mind to it, though that might take a little more digital assistance. The Iron Lady starts with MT in her 80s and starting to lose her grip on reality. She’s both comforted and troubled by hallucinations of her dead husband Denis, and she’s frequently lost in memories of her remarkable rise, as a grocer’s daughter from Grantham, to the top of the Conservative Party rich boys’ club.
As someone who hated Thatcher, I was concerned this might be some kind of feminist hagiography (which does not mean what it looks like it should mean). But writer Abi Morgan miraculously gets us to empathise with the old bat for her frailty and intelligence, while also showing her misguided conviction. It’s a little episodic (like many biopics) but still a real achievement. 8/10
Released December 26, 2011.