An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
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The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Helena Bonham Carter
Elderly and a virtual prisoner in her own home due to her concerned staff and daughter Carol, Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first woman prime minister, looks back on her life as she clears out her late husband Denis's clothes for the Oxfam shop. 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 premiereship. Now his ghost joins her to comment on her successes and failures, sometimes to her annoyance, generally to her comfort until ultimately, as the clothes are sent to the charity shop, Denis departs from Margaret's life forever. Written by
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Streep prepared for the role by spending months watching broadcasts of Margaret Thatcher, to learn her mannerisms and speech. She also spoke with dozens of people who knew her, including former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, who faced Thatcher in the House of Commons for seven years. See more »
On several occasions when Thatcher is speaking in the House of Commons, the camera pans the house and no other female MPs are shown. The House of Commons had 19 female MPs in 1979, when Thatcher became Prime Minister, and 66 in 1992, just after she retired. In an article in the Daily Mail dated January 9, 2011, director Phyllida Lloyd said "I've deliberately put no other women in the shots. There were, in fact, 19 female MPs by the time she became Prime Minister but we are trying to show not how it was to the objective eye but how it felt from her point of view. Ours is a collection of very selective memories, of a life of a woman formed by the Second World War and permanently at war, her life played out as a series of battles." See more »
There's no doubt about it: Meryl Streep will be nominated for her 17th Academy Award for her portrayal of Britain's most controversial Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, in this otherwise underwhelming biopic. Streep is mesmerizing as usual, but the mode of storytelling employed by screenwriter Abi Morgan and director Phyllida Lloyd sporadic flashbacks among elongated stretches of following the elderly and mentally fragile Maggie is a huge misfire. The scenes which recount her path from young adulthood through to local politics and then to her 11 years of turbulent leadership are intriguing, however they are too far and few between to really grip. Sure, it checks off the list as far as famous moments go, but a more in depth insight into how she ran the country would've been nice.
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