Monday, February 18, 2013

Film - The Iron Lady (2011)

Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent are wasted on The Iron Lady (2011) dir. Phyllida Lloyd. The film tries desperately, if not to portray Margaret Thatcher sympathetically, at least to trace the origin of her rabid fiscal conservatism and inhumane governing choices.  It doesn't succeed.  Being a shopkeeper's daughter or being laughed at by school chums needn't make one unempathic. In fact, it could easily do the opposite.  Meryl Streep has so much age makeup on that she looks like a lizard, and the film chooses to tell its story of fairly recent history via so many cliched montages, with such a baldly commercial soundtrack, that I wondered why they didn't make a 10 minute music video and have done with it.  The endless montages - Maggie at home, Maggie losing the election, Maggie winning the election, Maggie ruining the British economy, the masses mad at Maggie and rioting in Brixton, Maggie fighting in the Falklands, in addition to being banal, seemed to wish to skirt actual scene writing so that the film wouldn't have to have an opinion on her politics.  Want a lesson in what austerity does to an economy, America?  Look at Thatcherism.  Anyway, her austerity was a lie.  She was glad to spend millions of pounds when it came to a war in the Falklands.  Given the way she decimated funding for the arts in Britain, as a director I certainly wouldn't have wanted the job of directing her biopic.

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