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'The Iron Lady' profiles Britain's Margaret Thatcher Jeri Jacquin | Fri, Jan 13 2012 02:15 PM

Opening in theaters this week from director Phyllida Lloyd, Film4 and Canal+ comes a historical drama about “The Iron Lady” —  the story of Margaret Thatcher, England’s first female prime minister.

Meryl Streep portrays Thatcher, and the film looks back on her life. As a young woman, she watches her father fight for the rights of the citizenry and catches the bug.

It doesn’t take long before she finds herself in Parliament where she meets husband Denis (Jim Broadbent), who supports everything she does. Raising a family and serving her term, Margaret takes on the power, the men, and reaches the seat of prime minister.

Final word: Streep once again puts in a powerful performance as Thatcher. It is so interesting that an American would play this historical woman. Streep is an actress who can always be counted on to carry a film beautifully and, once again, she has done so.

Broadbent is absolutely lovely as husband Denis. His one-liners and jokes are really funny. What is even more delightful is the obvious relationship between Margaret and Denis. I truly enjoyed watching his performance in this film.

That being said I can’t give the same thumbs up to the film as a whole. The performances are simply on point but the story fluxes in and out. It doesn’t mean the film isn’t worth seeing, but the story covers the successes of Thatcher and glosses over the problems with her relationships.

Everything just pops up one thing at a time without explanation for why and offers no reason for an emotional investment by the viewer. It is Streep’s performance that keeps the film afloat.

Other cast members include Anthony Head as Geoffrey Howe, Iain Glen as Alfred Roberts, Richard E. Grant as Michael Heseltine, Olivia Colman as Carol and Roger Allman as Gordon Reece.

Tubs of popcorn: I give “The Iron Lady” three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Streep is clearly the star. She carries the role and the film with dignity and even a little humor. It is an interesting look at the life of a woman who, no one will argue, made history.

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