Streep's portrayal ultimately won her the Academy Award for Best Actress (her 17th nomination and third award overall), as well as several other awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama. Or did it just shore up opinions/biases you already held about her? Follow him on Twitter @wesley_morris. She also earned her third Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama award (her eighth Golden Globe Award win overall), and her second BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Whether that is a good or bad thing is probably not so easy to conclude as I wish it would be. But when Streep isnt singing, so to speak, shes vamping. , The Iron Lady received mixed reviews from critics, although there was strong praise for Streep's performance.
"I Simply Am Not There": The Existential Horror of Eighties Excess in "American Psycho" Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Case of Mr. Pelham (Review). However, the film led me to question the pains that must be taken to humanise, silence, or render palatable a woman in power. Let me get this out of the way: Meryl Streep is great in the film The Iron Lady. Its interesting that Major is a complete non-entity here, which is probably worth a cheap joke or two.
The special features in the DVD include Making The Iron Lady, Bonus Featurettes, Recreating the Young Margaret Thatcher, Battle in the House of Commons, Costume Design: Pearls and Power Suits, Denis: The Man Behind the Woman.. I think that would bothered me about the portrayal of Thatcher in her battle with dementia attends on my first point in addition to playing on tropes of aging women. I, however, felt that it did not elicit sympathy so much as pity.
But what they want to say about Thatcher is blurry. Where it may have impact is with those possessing little prior knowledge as to the actual history.  Richard Corliss of Time named Streep's performance one of the Top 10 Movie Performances of 2011.. While the portrayal of Thatcher in her old age is unarguably problematic whilst she is still alive, it isnt the first time a real life person has been exagerrated for the purposes of a movie. She makes such insinuating eye contact that even to return her gaze leaves you feeling inadequate, judged. In preparation for her role, Streep sat through a session at the House of Commons in January 2011 to observe British MPs in action. Oliver Stones Nixon is a long, but rewarding, film. She never seems to go back for them. My interests lie in the realm of political presentation, representation, citizenship, and their intersections with gender. Too much of the movie is junked up with the symbolism of her politics. Its pitiful.
At its best, it offers a rather basic understanding of why Thatcher thought some of the things she did, but reduces the woman to the type of sound bytes that might be associated with one of her successors. In fact, I wish it would have focused more on her politics and less on her ailments. The other decided to do some research beforehand and came away with a very negative image of her.
, The film grossed $30million in the North American market, and $85million in other markets, for a worldwide gross of $115million.  The film also won the Academy Award for Best Makeup. She has a particular interest in constructions of citizenship and nationalism, the construction and application of feminism as a political movement and how all of this operates in the political sphere, especially in the United States. Filming began in the UK on 31 December 2010, and the film was released in late 2011.
Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Whatever you may think of Thatcher, she deserved more nuance and complexity than The Iron Lady affords her. But shes not asking as a hostess, shes asking as a leader. Its the scores of films made or situated during her decade in office - films like Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, The Last of England, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, that dramatized - sometimes with comedy, other times with anger, the polarizing effects of her stubbornness, her patriotism, her passion for the flat tax, and her disdain for social programs and, by extension, the concerns of the lower classes. In the UK at least, I think it is certainly the case that for a woman to succeed in the male-dominated spheres of business, politics, etc, they will have to adopt the characteristics typically associated with masculinity. Have a look at our notes for contributors page! What parts of Thatcher were mediated by the film, transformed into a more palatable, inspirational woman in power?
" Thatcher's Home secretary Douglas Hurd described the dementia storyline as "ghoulish" in an interview with the Evening Standard. Denis is seen as being her rock as she first enters parliament and then runs for the leadership of the Conservative Party, culminating in her eventual premiership. On Top Gun: Maverick, Thor: Love and Thunder and the Rise of the Anti-Legacyquel, New Escapist Column! Must it erase the Iron Lady and replace her with a woman who now cannot find her voice? Shes very good, and easily the best thing about the movie and the closest thing to a reason to see the film. They definitely echoed some of the issues I tried to work through in my drafts of writing this. The song appears seventy-five minutes into the film, as part of the Falklands War victory celebrations.
It made me think of presentations of former US President George W. Bush in W. and again what treatment Palin may get. Her hair needed to be changed to give her more character, and they even attempted to coerce her to give up her pearls (yet that, as she explained, was just not going to happen). The withering is withered.
Repeatedly, the film flashes back to a young Margaret watching her father address a crowd and using rhetoric mimetic of that for which she will become known. Not included on the soundtrack album or listings although credited among the eight songs at the end of the film is "I'm in Love with Margaret Thatcher" by Burnley punk band Notsensibles, which was re-released as a single due to the publicity. (LogOut/
", NPR commentator Robert Seigel and Thatcher biographer John Campbell accused writer Abi Morgan and star Meryl Streep of having the most say in the film's production and dictating some historical inaccuracies, such as the film's photography showing no other woman serving in the House of Commons during the time Thatcher was serving, with the hopes of presenting a different image of Thatcher to the film's American audience. But Lloyd, who directed Streep in Mamma Mia!, and Morgan, who co-wrote the recent sex-addiction drama Shame, arent Oliver Stone. I am trying to approach the role with as much zeal, fervour and attention to detail as the real Lady Thatcher possesses I can only hope my stamina will begin to approach her own. " At Metacritic, the film has a score of 54 out of 100, based on 41 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Little gender politics there. Not a glowing start.
Streep is solid as Thatcher. Her daughter freaks out when Thatcher hijacks a successful driving lesson to announce shes running for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
", Despite the film's mixed reviews, Streep's performance in the title role garnered much critical acclaim.
While Streep gives a solid performance, and director Phyllida Lloyd tries her best to make the movie visually engaging, it feels a bit cheap and shallow. Margaret Thatcher is an undeniably controversial figure who still arouses heightened passions in the UK. Given the tendency to feature large casts over an extended period, its often easy to lose track of who certain people are in the grand scheme of things, and what their relationship to the protagonist might be. In no way would I hope the film would gloss over the exceedingly problematic bits of Thatchers politics. Does this just contribute to the hurdles women have to leap in order to attain office? Here, the audience is never really confused, because Lloyd keeps the film tight theres never a sense that any of the characters outside Margaret and Dennis are important, and they are cast as cyphers rather than characters.
 Former Conservative Party chairman Norman Fowler was more critical of the film and stated "She [Thatcher] was never, in my experience, the half-hysterical, over-emotional, over-acting woman portrayed by Meryl Streep. Obviously though my own subjective opinions are coming through to an extent here! The Iron Lady isnt a psychological odyssey in paranoia.
Anthony Head is the quiet and timid number two man while Richard E. Grant is the cynical political contender. The only confusion I ever faced was when I mistook Heads character for John Major, and that was cleared up the first time he was mentioned by name.
However, it is the portrayal of Thatchers dementia that elicited my strongest feelings and the greatest variance in interpretation. We see her at the kitchen sink washing out that cursed teacup. During this period, a slew of male colleagues and professionals instruct her on how to lower her voice to speak more like a man and less like a shrieking woman. She utters a lot of the famous lines, or versions of them: The Falkland Islands belong to Britain, and I want them back!. Must it show her wistfulness for such soft subjects and memories such as The King and I, dancing with her husband, and days with her children? In fact, she was not in Westminster at the time of his death and was informed of it while carrying out official duties elsewhere.. In fairness, though, there are nice touches. No Kennedy biopic will ever portray him choosing between his kids and the Presidency.
We learn she has won a place at Oxford University, revealing her struggle, as a young lower-middle-class woman, attempting to break into a snobbish male-dominated Conservative Party and find a seat in the House of Commons, along with businessman Denis Thatcher's marriage proposal to her.
The right finds pleasure in the films legitimising of her politics while the left, as much as most will not want to admit it, are likely to enjoy viewing the decline of such a hated figure. The cultural gender representation of Thatcher refuses to kowtow to simplicity and traditional modes of categorization. She was phenomenal in her embodiment of the scripted character and I use the term character to attest to the fictional embodiment of an actual human being and her portrayal of a woman suffering from dementia was absolutely heartbreaking. On The Rise of the Fakeout Death, New Escapist Column!
In response to the film, a friend of Thatchers children, Sir Mark and Carol, told the Telegraph the pair were appalled at what they had heard of the film, and that it sounds like some Left-wing fantasy. In some ways the film does portray the struggles of adapting to a life no longer in power the struggle to be heard and to leave a legacy. She wears the crooked teeth and the pearls. Denis' ghost leaves her as she cries that she actually is not yet ready to lose him, to which he replies "You're going to be fine on your own you always have been" before leaving forever. Move to the right! I dont even think its too many bio-pics, I think its the model of them. Collapsing Into One Frame: Miami Vice, Time and Luck Screenwriter (Donald Clarke, Irish Times), There is a sense watching the original Star Trek films that the television cast is boldly going somewhere that, The Voyage Home isnt about time travellers from the future arriving in 1986 San Francisco. Today it seems like people just want to be someone. Like much of the rest of the film, its too basic and simplistic for its own good. To accept cookies, click continue. In my day, people wanted to do something, she suggests at one point. J. Edgar and The Iron Lady are preoccupied with taking a conservative icon and casting them as sympathetic to a liberal audience it just seems so cynical and underhanded. Even the editorial collective of this blog had differing opinions on the film and how it portrayed Thatcher. She appears to love raising then narrowing her brow and popping her eyes as if she were Bette Davis in a slasher movie. The story begins with Thatcher in the present, then in a series of flashbacks, the audience is presented with a young Margaret Roberts working at the family grocer's shop in Grantham, listening to the political speeches of her father, whom she idolised it is also hinted that she had a poor relationship with her mother, a housewife.
Giving the American Secretary of State a bit of a talking to, she asks, Shall I play mother? She scolds Geoffrey Howe on a typo of the word committee like a mother correcting homework, and then sends the cabinet out of the room without any supper.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 52% and an average score of 5.70/10, based on 234 reviews. " David Gritten in The Daily Telegraph commented: "Awards should be coming Streep's way; yet her brilliance rather overshadows the film itself.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture The Directors Edition(#), New Escapist Column!
Yet it does this in a way that seems almost apologetic on Thatchers behalf and not necessarily for her policies, but for her personality and mode of politics. The movie did include self-aware lines that spoke to my feminist heart, such as her agreeing to marry her husband only if he realizes she will never relinquish her goals. Old Lady Thatcher cant remember the price of milk and talks to a man who isnt there. Streeps Thatcher speaks with a poise thats not unlike the way some divas approach an aria. , The film's depiction of Thatcher has been criticised by her children, Mark and Carol, who are reported to have said, before completion of the film, that "it sounds like some left-wing fantasy. His being shapes her consciousness, acting as inspiration and repudiation during her political career.  The teaser trailer features Clint Mansell's theme tune for the science-fiction film Moon.. , Campbell also noted that while Thatcher thought the House of Commons was dominated by a patronising male environment, and that the film showed the representation from her point of view, it did not encourage her to maintain the upper middle class image she used early in her political career as the film suggests and that Thatcher did in fact exploit the fact that she was raised by a grocer in a small Lincolnshire town and had a very ordinary background when she was running for leader of the Conservative Party. (LogOut/ " Xan Brooks of The Guardian said Streep's performance "is astonishing and all but flawless". Change), You are commenting using your Facebook account.
As for the presentation of Thatcher displaying masculine characteristics, I think this is more a problem in real life than in the film. Shes costumed in puce and eggplant and teal. , Thatcher stated before her death on 8 April 2013 that she did not watch films or programmes about herself. There was her rise to power, the Falklands War, the miners, the bombing of the Grand, and even the palace coup against her. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2012/jan/05/margaret-thatcher-feminist-icon All of which seems stunningly simplistic and almost insulting.
Check out this trailer based pieces from the book Game Change. As the battle for political representation in the highest offices that many feminists are still fighting, I cant help but wonder if representations that play on stereotypes of women in leadership roles end up reifying certain tropes for the audience, especially when we are already used to seeing men in power and assume they can do the job?
My most pressing thought having read it is that the film is by no means a left-wing fantasy.
During the Falklands War in 1982, Alexander Haig (Matthew Marsh) comes to 10 Downing Street for a meeting and his reluctance to engage Argentina exasperates the prime minister. dare to examine and explore those beliefs without constructing such a manipulative safety net. Additionally, this film raised questions about the line between private and public, politics and entertainment as well as the role and power of narrative over the audience and theoretical ideas about the gaze.. (LogOut/ He plays a mocking imaginary companion to her struggles with dementia. The film put a lot of emphasis, I felt, on Thatchers belief that she was just doing what needed to be done for the country. In an interview with the BBC, then Prime Minister David Cameron described Streep's performance as "great" and "fantastic" but opined that the filmmakers should have waited before making the movie and focused more on Thatcher's time in office rather than her personal life and struggles with dementia. with or unused to seeing women in high positions of power.  John Campbell noted that her decisions in office became an inspiration for the Labour Party's pro-middle ground policies enacted when Tony Blair served as Prime Minister. The Iron Lady was released on DVD in the United States and the United Kingdom on 30 April 2012.
As a result, we get Pop Psychology 101, with Margaret Thatcher in the hot seat.
Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. This movie is so conventionally structured and conceived (it goes from Thatchers ambitious young adulthood to her greatest political hits) it seems to exist merely to justify the performance. have the courage to condemn your subjects for their political beliefs, or (b.) So we know Lloyd and Morgan dont intend to flatter her. Do you feel it added depth to the polarising public image of Thatcher? In fact, during Thatcher's time in Parliament, the total number of female MPs ranged between 19 and 41. As for the portrayal of her in a declining state, Im not to sure where I would fall on this.
It isnt as if her tenure in 10 Downing Street was uneventful, nor her political career beforehand. The film does show the often contradictory stereotypes women in power must confront: her colleagues call her shrill and the media portrays her as domineering. This movie cannot be understood as anything but political, and thats part of the trouble I have in understanding my own feelings towards it. Theres a whiff of conspiracy in a few scenes. Contact us: subslikescript(doggysign)gmail.com |.
Sometimes her showmanship amounts to shamelessness.  The film was directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Abi Morgan. All the scenes with Streep as prime minister seem like deliberate slow motion. She doesnt simply overwhelm this thin historic biography - and the other actors around her - she detonates it. Why does her strength and her resolve have to make her the dreaded B-word?? Shes not dead.
Thatcher's husband, Denis Thatcher, is portrayed by Jim Broadbent, and by Harry Lloyd as the younger Denis. I mean, how can an article on Slate titled Meryl Streep Cant Save the Surprisingly Sexist The Iron Lady From Incoherence not affect me? However, while present, this element of the film is sporadically addressed through noisy interludes, shouting, and spliced historical footage.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Its great kabuki. She doesnt have the best material to work with, but she does a nice job. Additionally, I had heard quite a diverse set of reactions to the film from friends and professors. What do you think of these films portrayal of mental illness, especially in relation to powerful women? , Thatcher's staunch opposition to the 1990 reunification of Germany is not mentioned. However, in its exploration of Ms. Thatchers psyche and its formation, the film feels perilously close to reifying stereotypes of women in power, including embodying male characteristics to get ahead, being a bad mother and wife, exploiting an appearance of femininity, and demonstrating contradictory characteristics such as shrill, uncontrollable, domineering, emasculating, emotional, etc. Give me your pencil! she screams. ), In case we didnt get the memo, the movie force-feeds us a simplistic contrast with Margaret Thatcher, the apparently failed mother. What do you think of the film? Wandering in her nightgown, hair mussed and eyes glazed, Thatcher came to alternately resemble a harridan and a doddering, incapable old woman. , The trailer for the film features Madness's ska/pop song "Our House". Building a Strong Ummah: Muslim women in the twenty-first century Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief, The political role of Muslim women between traditional texts and changing realities, Women's Roles as Teachers, Leaders, and Contributors to the Waqf in Damascus, GENDER BOUNDARIES AND TRENDS IN THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN HADITH TRANSMISSION, Veil and the Male Elite - A Feminist Interpretation of Womens Rights in Islam - [By, Fatima Mernissi].pdf, SPEAKING IN GODS NAME: RE-EXAMINING GENDER IN ISLAM, Madonnas and whores or blood and gore?
By 1990, Thatcher is shown as an imperious but aging figure, ranting aggressively at her cabinet, refusing to accept that the "Poll Tax" is unjust, even while it is causing riots, and fiercely opposed to European integration.
Each blog post gives the views of the individual author(s), and not the position of the Department of Gender Studies, nor of the London School of Economics.
, Streep said: "The prospect of exploring the swathe cut through history by this remarkable woman is a daunting and exciting challenge.