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The Lady
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The Lady (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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The Lady -- The story of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the academic and writer Michael Aris; a true story of love set against political turmoil.
The Lady -- The story of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the academic and writer Michael Aris; a true story of love set against political turmoil.


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Rebecca Frayn (screenplay)
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Release Date:
30 November 2011 (France) See more »
From House Arrest to Parliament See more »
The story of Aung San Suu Kyi as she becomes the core of Burma's democracy movement, and her relationship with her husband, writer Michael Aris. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
One of the Last Bastions of Tyranny See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order)

Michelle Yeoh ... Aung San Suu Kyi

David Thewlis ... Michael Aris

Jonathan Raggett ... Kim Aris
Jonathan Woodhouse ... Alexander Aris
Susan Wooldridge ... Lucinda Philips

Benedict Wong ... Karma
Agga Poechit ... Than Shwe
Donatienne Dupont ... Marie-Laure Aris
Phoe Zaw ... Aung San - the Father
Marian Yu ... Daw Khin Kyi - the Mother
May ... Mon Mon
Ko Ko Win Aung ... Red Scarf Captain
San Lwin ... U Win Tin - Writer
Nay Myo Thant ... Win Thein - Student
Victoria Sanvalli ... Ma Thein - Student
Flint Bangkok ... Nyo Ohn Myint
Thwel Zin Toe ... Ma Thanegi - Suu's Secretary
Dujdao Vadhanapakorn ... Nita May

Sahajak Boonthanakit ... Leo Nichols
Pradimporn Kanjunda ... Daw Khin Kyi at 30 years old
Soraya La-ong Ake ... Aung San Suu Kyi at 2 years old
Star ... Zargana - Actor
Honey ... Maid - ASSK

William Hope ... James Baker
Jay Villiers ... Martin Morland, UK Ambassador 1988
Louis Hilyer ... Tom White, British Council 1988

Nicholas Jones ... Robert Gordon, UK Ambassador 1995-1999

Anton Lesser ... Professor Finnis
Paul Brennen ... Doctor - UK Hospital
Amanda Lawrence ... Nurse - UK Hospital
François Lescurat ... Mitterand's Attache

Junix Inocian ... Burmese Diplomat
Frank Walmsley ... BBC Journalist
Ilario Bisi-Pedro ... Desmond Tutu
Maung Maung Khin ... Captain Myint
Win Kyaw Tun ... Major Danubyu
Kriang Kunsri ... General Saw Maung
Khin Maung Yon ... Inteligence Officer - Airport
Nicolas Vee ... Colonel - Airport

Akira Koieyama ... Japanese Delegate
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Guy Barwell ... Military Policeman

Antony Hickling ... BBC journalist (voice)
Teerawat Mulvilai ... Soldier / Bad News
Danny Toeng ... Colonel Than Tun

Bruce Blain ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Martin John King ... Waiter (uncredited)

Directed by
Luc Besson 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rebecca Frayn  screenplay

Produced by
Andy Harries .... producer
Didier Hoarau .... line producer
Jane Robertson .... line producer: UK
Virginie Silla .... producer (as Virginie Besson-Silla)
Jean Todt .... associate producer
Luc Besson .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Eric Serra 
Cinematography by
Thierry Arbogast (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Julien Rey 
Casting by
Raweeporn 'Non' Srimonju  (as Raweeporn 'Non' Jungmeier)
Fiona Weir 
Production Design by
Hugues Tissandier 
Art Direction by
Gilles Boillot 
Dominique Moisan 
Stéphane Robuchon 
Steve Spence 
Thierry Zemmour 
Set Decoration by
Siranat Ratchusanti 
Costume Design by
Olivier Bériot  (as Olivier Beriot)
Makeup Department
Marthe Faucouit .... makeup artist: France
Caroline Groves .... makeup assistant: UK
Gary Jordan .... daily makeup artist
Sarah Jane Marks .... makeup assistant: UK
Kay Philips .... hair stylist: France
Stéphane Robert .... key makeup artist (as Stephane Lagadic-Robert)
Nicky South .... makeup assistant: UK
Ghislaine Tortereau .... makeup department head
Production Management
David Edouard .... unit manager assistant: France (as David Broutin)
Olivier Gravenhorst .... post-production manager: Scanlab
Marc Guidetti .... unit manager
Varillian Gumusel .... post-production manager: L.T.C.
David Lemenan .... unit manager assistant
Eric Martin .... digital grading post-production supervisor: Duboi
Stéphane Martine .... digital post-production manager: Duboi
Anchittha Phongchub .... production manager: Thailand
Dorothée Santucci .... unit manager assistant: France
Agnès Sébenne .... head of post-production (as Agnes Berger-Sebenne)
William Trillaud .... unit manager assistant: France
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ludovic Bernard .... first assistant director
Shanna Besson .... director: making of
Christel Bordon .... second assistant director
Paul Cathie .... second assistant director: UK
Lucie Gratas .... third assistant director: France
Ian Hughes .... third assistant director: UK (as Ian 'Pebbles' Hughes)
Tippawan Mamanee .... second assistant director: Thailand
Julie-Anne Simon .... extra third assistant director: France
Charlie Sungkawess .... first assistant director: Thailand
Art Department
Nick Ainsworth .... graphic artist: UK
Pierre Banoni .... dressing props: France
Pascal Chevé .... plasterer: France (as Pascal Cheve)
Charlie Clerc .... third art director: cg, France
Géraldine Daigremont .... second art director: France (as Geraldine Daigremont)
Julien Durguel .... set decorator: France
Peter Fentem .... dressing props: UK
Amélie Fontana .... second art director: Plans, France (as Amelie Fontana)
Julyan Giraux .... third art director: set, France
Paulo Gonçalves .... second art director: France (as Paulo Goncalves)
Josh Hartnett .... stand-by props: UK
Justin Hayzelden .... dressing props: UK
Charlie Lynam .... art buyer: UK
Cédric Maserati .... dressing props: France
Acel Mauge .... dressing props
Guy Monbillard .... property buyer: France
Jean-Pierre Mossereau .... set decoration buyer: France
Olivier Nguyen .... property master
Prachya Pitapho .... draftsman: Thailand (as Prachya 'Jet Jet' Pitapho)
Scott Rogers .... props master: UK
Steve Spence .... art director: Thailand
Patrick Tandiang .... second art director: drawings, France
Patricia Tissander .... property buyer assistant: France
Evelyne Tissandier .... set decoration buyer: France (as Evelyne Baussant Tissander)
Sara Wan .... set decorator: UK
Jackie Yau .... set decorator: UK
Sound Department
Nicolas Bourgeois .... assistant sound editor
Marco Casanova .... assistant sound editor
Matthieu Dallaporta .... sound re-recording mixer
Najib El Yafi .... foley editor
Najib El Yafi .... sound recordist
Alexandre Hernandez .... sound editor
Didier Lozahic .... sound re-recording mixer
Didier Lozahic .... sound
Florian Penot .... assistant foley artist
Jonathan Rimas .... vo recordist
Paulin Sagna .... boom operator
Ken Yasumoto .... sound mixer
Ken Yasumoto .... sound
Ken Yasumoto .... supervising sound editor
Visual Effects by
Alain Bignet .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Pierre Billet .... in/out technician and system: Duran Duboi
Thibaut Breton .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Emilien Breuillier .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Emmanuel Carriere .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Alain Carsoux .... visual effects director: Duran Duboi
Florian Chauvet .... visual effects coordinator: Duran Duboi
Philippe Chotard .... in/out technician and system: Duran Duboi
Ludovic Davidian .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Séverine De Wever .... visual effects producer: Duran Duboi
Christophe Dehaene .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Aurélie Delaunuy .... in/out technician and system: Duran Duboi
Ludivine Ducrocq .... production administration
Adrien Garcia .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Florian Garotte .... in/out technician and system: Duran Duboi
Pierre Genin .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi (as Pierre-Emmanyel Génin)
Kern Attila Germain .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
David Gourmaud .... visual effects editor: Duran Duboi
Jeremy Guetta .... scanner operator
Bruno Habbah .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Yohann Hays .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Marie Heine .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Pacini Kevin .... visual effects editor
Marc Largier .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Julien Lasson .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Guillaume Le Gouez .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Mathieu Legros .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Jeremie Leroux .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi (as Jér*eacute;mie Leroux)
Antoine Lhouillier .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Gianni Manno .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Jean-Francois Michelas .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Selim Mondzie .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Fredrik Monteil .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Emilia Napame .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Jeremy Oblet .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Arnaud Ortmann .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Kevin Paoni .... visual effects editor: Duran Duboi
Gregory Peczinka .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi
François Pellae .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Vincent Perzo .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Jonathan Petit .... in/out technician and system: Duran Duboi
Joel Pinto .... visual effects supervisor: Duran Duboi
Elisa Pretta .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Alrik Prevel .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Isabelle Ramnou .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Stéphane Richez .... cgi graphic artist: Duran Duboi (as Stephane Richez)
Laurent Ripoll .... visual effects editor: Duran Duboi
David Sanchez .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi
Niranjan Siva .... compositing graphic artist: Duran Duboi (as Niralian Sivagurunathan)
Aurélien Grand .... retouch and restoration (uncredited)
Stephane Lesmond .... visual effects video assist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jean-Paul Agostini .... director of photography: second unit, France
Thierry Alais .... grip: France
Ansel Arbogast .... electrician trainee: France
Lionel Bailly .... assembling gaffer: France
Stéphane Birzin .... best boy grip
Fabrice Bismuth .... focus puller: second unit, France
Franck Bonomi .... assembling key grip: France
Magali Bragard .... still photographer
Charles Carpentier .... assembling electrician: France
Mathieu Caudroy .... steadicam operator
Thibaud Charles .... electrician: France
Fanny Coustenoble .... loader: second unit, France
Roland Dondin .... assembling electrician: France
Isabelle Duquesnoy .... loader: France
Gregory Eck .... rigger: France
Gilles Floquet .... assembling grip: France
Thomas Gally .... electrician: France
William Gally .... gaffer: France (as Williams Gally)
Pierre Garnier .... grip: France
Frederic Garrone .... rigger: France
Philippe Guermouh .... generator operator: France
Eddie Knight .... sparks: UK
Laurent Martin .... assembling grip: France
Jean-Pierre Mas .... key grip
Philippe Mourier .... assembling grip: France
Vincent Perez .... extra still photographer
Ronnie Phillips .... sparks: UK
Victor Pichon .... camera assistant: tests, France
Georges Polonia .... generator operator: France
Vincent Richard .... focus puller
René-Pierre Rouaux .... second assistant camera (as Rene-Pierre Rouaux)
Frédéric Thurot .... electrician: France (as Frederic Thurot)
Vincent Tulasne .... video assist operator: France
Casting Department
Marie-Sylvie Caillierez .... extras casting: France
Yann Le Boucher .... additional extras casting assistant: France
Elodie Percheron .... extras casting assistant: France
Tanawat Punya .... casting assistant
Supattra 'Pum' Punyadee .... casting assistant: Thailand
Alice Searby .... casting assistant: UK
Sarawanee Yodnoon .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Corinne Bruand .... costume designer assistant
Caroline de Tugny .... patina & tint
Corrine Dubois .... dresser: France
Olivier Jacob .... dresser: France
Camille Joste .... wardrobe documentation: France
Claudine Lachaud .... wardrobe supervisor
Sophie Laleu .... dresser: France
Capucine Martin .... wardrobe assistant: France
Frédéric Tournant .... costumes coordinator: France (as Frederic Tournant)
Nat Turner .... costume assistant: UK
Nirachara Wannalai .... wardrobe supervisor (2010)
Stéphanie Watrigant .... dresser: France
Editorial Department
Barbara Albucher .... digital grading post-production: Duboi (as Barbara Albucher Serci)
Thibaut Blanchet .... assistant editor
Christian Dutac .... grader: L.T.C.
Reginald Gallienne .... rushes grader: Scanlab
Grégory Gosse .... digital technical supervisor: Duboi
Yseult Huret .... additional assistant editor
Lyssia Le Gall .... assistant editor
Brice Leclert .... coordinator: Duboi
Nadine Makris .... additional assistant editor
Danielle Maleville .... post-production coordinator: L.T.C.
Rodney Musso .... assistant colorist
Fabien Pascal .... digital color timer: Duboi
Flora Volpelière .... additional assistant editor (as Flora Volpeliere)
Chloé Besomi .... post-production runner (uncredited)
Music Department
Geoff Alexander .... orchestrator (as Geoffrey Alexander)
Nicolas Duport .... music recordist
Christophe Guiot .... musician: solo violin
Didier Lozahic .... music recordist
Alexandre Mahout .... music supervisor
Samuel Potin .... music editor
Samuel Potin .... pro tools operator
Eric Serra .... arranger
Eric Serra .... music mixer
Eric Serra .... music producer
Eric Serra .... music recordist
Eric Serra .... musician
Eric Serra .... orchestrator
Tony Stanton .... music librarian
Fabrice Suaré .... pro tools operator assistant
Other crew
Isabelle Agid .... personal assistant to director
Ange Amiel .... crowd marshall
Simon Baber .... assistant location manager: UK
Daisy Baldry .... production assistant: UK
Tony Carter .... floor runner: UK
Mel Churcher .... dialogue coach: Michelle Yeoh - director's department
Alex Cox .... location manager: UK
Romuald Drault .... production accountant supervisor
Christine Fontaine .... assistant production coordinator: UK
Marc Guidetti .... location manager
Fiona Harper .... production assistant
Grégoire Jeudy .... crowd marshall
Sam Johnson .... location assistant
Nisso Kaboulova .... assistant to post-production (as Nisse Kaboulova)
Nisso Kaboulova .... assistant to post-production
Nichakamon Khajorn .... production staff
David Lemenan .... location manager assistant
Philippe Letode .... location scout: France
Shefali Malhoutra .... development producer
Jenny Marchandeau .... production accountant
Ian Mitchell .... stand-in/picture double: David Thewlis
Supat Nirantarai .... production coordinator
Damien Noguer .... extras coordinator
Serena Nutting .... assistant production coordinator: UK
Nick Page .... floor runner: UK
Napatcha Pochaiya .... production accountant
Lola Prince .... script assistant: France
Samavee Pummoung .... production assistant
Isabelle Querrioux .... script supervisor
Alix Sidem .... production coordinator
Chaipat 'Jai' Sitthisarankul .... unit manager (Thailand)
Parawat Suriyo .... location manager: Thailand
Parawat Suriyo .... location unit manager: Thailand
Somchai Teawkeaw .... production assistant
Jo Wallett .... production coordinator: UK
Denis Wray .... production accountant: UK
Gareth Upton .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for violence including some bloody images
132 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Written over a period of three years by Rebecca Frayn. Interviews with key figures in Aung San Suu Kyi's entourage enabled her to reconstruct for the first time the true story of Burma's national heroine.See more »
Anachronisms: The production of the assault rifle AK-47 began in 1949. The Burma soldiers cannot have this rifle in 1947.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soldier of LoveSee more »


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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
One of the Last Bastions of Tyranny, 13 January 2012
Author: James Hitchcock from Tunbridge Wells, England

Politically, the late eighties and nineties were the most hopeful period in recent history. Throughout the world, especially in Eastern Europe and Latin America but also in Africa and the Far East, dictatorial regimes were giving way to democracy. Activists such as Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel and Nelson Mandela were exchanging their prison cells for their countries' Presidential Palaces, and it seemed that Burma (I will not call it "Myanmar"), which had been governed by a repressive military junta since 1962, would be the next democratic success story. Opposition to the regime was led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the beautiful and charismatic daughter of a national hero who enjoyed the devoted support of most of her compatriots. It seemed inevitable that "people power" would sweep away the junta, just as it had swept away the Marcos regime in the Philippines and the Communist dictatorships of Eastern Europe.

And yet this did not happen; the Burmese regime succeeded in maintaining its iron grip on power. Perhaps the reason was that, unlike many other tyrannies, it lacked any recognisable ideology beyond an Orwellian vision of "a boot stamping on a human face, forever". Communism collapsed when it became clear that it could not perform its ostensible ideological function, the protection of the economic interests of the working man. This in turn provoked the collapse of right-wing dictatorships like Pinochet's in Chile or Suharto's in Indonesia, which had justified their existence by claiming to defend their countries against Communism. Apartheid collapsed when it became clear that the economic interests of black and white South Africans were so closely intertwined as to make nonsense of the idea of "separate development". Than Shwe's junta, lacking any ideology which could be discredited in this way, could resist the forces of change for as long as it could maintain the loyalty of its troops and its own will to power.

"The Lady" depicts the life of Suu Kyi, known as "the lady" to her followers. It is not a complete biography, as it shows little of her early life, apart from the assassination of her father Aung San when she was three years old. The main action begins in 1988, when she was in her mid-forties and returned to Burma to visit her ailing mother, having previously been living in England with her husband Michael Aris, an Oxford professor. Her visit coincided with an uprising against military rule, which was followed by a brief period of liberalisation. She was persuaded to lead the country's nascent pro-democracy movement, and her party, the National League for Democracy, won a convincing majority in the 1990 parliamentary election. The military, however, refused to recognise the result and reimposed martial law. Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest and all political campaigning was forbidden. The junta seemed quite unmoved by international condemnation; even the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Suu Kyi in 1993 could not persuade them to release her.

The film was directed by Luc Besson, who was perhaps not the ideal director, as he had previously best been known for making action movies such as "Nikita". He had made a previous biography of a national political heroine, "Joan of Arc", but even there the action scenes are the best thing about the film. It is perhaps therefore unsurprising that "The Lady" is rather slow and ponderous and shows signs of having been made by a director unused to this style of film-making. Visually, however, the film is often attractive, with effective contrasts between the green, tropical lushness of South-East Asia- these scenes were shot in Thailand rather than Burma itself- and the grey stone of Oxford, a city often seen in the snow.

To be fair to Besson, he appears to have been deeply committed to this film, and it is possible that without his commitment it might never have been made. He was fortunate in having a leading lady, Michelle Yeoh, who was just as committed as he was; indeed, it was she who persuaded him to take on the project. Yeoh here gets to show, as she did in "Memoirs of a Geisha", that she is more than just a Bond Girl, more than just a kung-fu action heroine. She has the advantage of bearing a striking resemblance to the woman she is portraying.

Yeoh described the film as "an incredible love story", and the element most emphasised in the film is the relationship between Suu Kyi and her husband, from whom she was separated for many years. She would have been free at any time to leave Burma and rejoin him and their two sons in England, but always refused to do so, knowing that if she ever left the country she would never be permitted to return. David Thewlis as Aris is perhaps even better than Yeoh, playing him as an unworldly academic and devoted family man who nevertheless selflessly insists that his wife remain in Burma, knowing that if she leaves the country this will be a great blow to the pro-democracy movement. His premature death from cancer, possibly brought on or exacerbated by the stress of his situation, is the film's most tragic moment.

Suu Kyi's house arrest has now been lifted and Burma is now ruled by a civilian government, although it remains to be seen whether it will evolve into a genuine democracy; the elections in 2010 were widely denounced as neither free nor fair, and the new government as a mere front for a continuing military dictatorship. The expulsion of Michelle Yeoh from the country last year would suggest that the authorities are still very touchy about criticism. The film, however, performs the valuable service of reminding the world of the problems of a country which was for too long one of the last bastions of tyranny. I certainly preferred it to "The Iron Lady", the other recent biopic of a major female political figure. 7/10

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
It needed to be more about her and Burma! lea_84
It sounds like making the film was more exciting than the film itself! guyincognito1
First reviews from TIFF premier...not so great:( SpinozaGal
Is this filmed in Burma bbc100
available DVD? lkb-343-944899
What's the name of the song she played on the Piano? danielfjb
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