Set in a modern context of Thatcher's life, we see the development of her life and career through flashbacks she has from her home, where she is being watched over by nurses and family as she slipped further and further into the throes of dementia or Alzheimer's disease (we never really know which). Throughout the film, she sees people from her past and interacts with them, which causes her caretakers more and more concern. From this Thatcher gains a steely determination to stay in control of her "hallucinations" and either not address them, or keep them hidden from those around her.
As she deals with her present sense of lost awareness, she constantly flashes back to her life and all that she has experienced--and lost. We get a real sense that although she desperately loved her husband and children--enough so to be at a loss without them in her old age--that her career was the penultimate in her life. Her real sense of self came from serving her country, come what may in terms of approval or understanding.
I absolutely loved the film and immediately called a few people that I knew would also love it, to recommend it to them. This is a thinking-man's film, for sure. There are no flashy action scenes or blatant messages, but what we do get is a real film of introspection and thoughtfulness that had me thinking about my own life. Margaret Thatcher, whether you agreed with her politics or not, was an absolute standard in Women's History, and someone that should be given real attention for the bravery she showed in moving through what has always been a "man's world." Her real "iron"-fisted approach to life and her career was very interesting, especially considering how she used it to have a control over her life that had be admired in many ways.
|The young Margaret & husband in the early days of her career.|
The Iron Lady, in my estimation, is a real must see if you are a film buff at all. Meryl Streep's performance was really amazing, as she slipped into the role of Thatcher, almost flawlessly. The filming, en media res, was a great technique for moving us backward and forward in time so we could see and feel as Thatcher might feel. Overall, I found it to be a great film, and one that I think will win Streep more than just that Golden Globe from Sunday night!
Below is one of the official trailers if you want to check it out.