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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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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Rebecca Frayn (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Lady on IMDbPro.
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:
A Nutshell Review: The Lady See more (36 total) »


  (in credits order)
Markus Waldow ... Reporter

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:

Al Barclay ... Christopher Gore-Booth (as Alex Barclay)
Guy Barwell ... Military Policeman

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

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

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

Produced by
Virginie Besson-Silla .... producer
Andy Harries .... producer
Didier Hoarau .... line producer
Georges Langlois .... executive producer
Jane Robertson .... line producer: UK
Jean Todt .... associate producer
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
Carolyn Groves .... makeup assistant: UK (as Caroline Groves)
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
Siwakorn Suklankarn .... key makeup artist: Thailand
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)
Lorenz Plassmann .... assistant art director
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 .... re-recording mixer
Najib El Yafi .... foley editor
Najib El Yafi .... sound recordist
Alexandre Hernandez .... sound editor
Didier Lozahic .... re-recording mixer
Didier Lozahic .... sound
Florian Penot .... assistant foley artist
Philippe Penot .... foley artist
Jonathan Rimas .... vo recordist
Paulin Sagna .... boom operator
Ken Yasumoto .... sound mixer
Ken Yasumoto .... sound
Ken Yasumoto .... supervising sound editor
Special Effects by
Chabbal Frederic .... special effects
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
Nittaya Boonkao .... wardrobe assistant: Thailand
Corinne Bruand .... costume designer assistant
Caroline de Tugny .... patina & tint
Corrine Dubois .... dresser: France
Stefan Fruh .... wardrobe
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)
Location Management
Simon Baber .... assistant location manager: UK
Alex Cox .... location manager: UK
Marc Guidetti .... location manager
Sam Johnson .... location assistant
David Lemenan .... location manager assistant
Philippe Letode .... location scout: France
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
Daisy Baldry .... production assistant: UK
Ben Burton .... crowd 3rd assistant director: UK
Tony Carter .... floor runner: UK
Dom Channing-Williams .... floor runner: uk
Mel Churcher .... dialogue coach: Michelle Yeoh - director's department
Romuald Drault .... production accountant supervisor
Christine Fontaine .... assistant production coordinator: UK
Fiona Harper .... production assistant
Grégoire Jeudy .... crowd marshall
Nisso Kaboulova .... assistant to post-production (as Nisse Kaboulova)
Nisso Kaboulova .... assistant to post-production
Nichakamon Khajorn .... production staff
Shefali Malhoutra .... development producer
Jenny Marchandeau .... production accountant
Ian Mitchell .... stand-in/picture double: David Thewlis
Supat Niruntarai .... production coordinator (as Supat Nirantarai)
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 unit manager: Thailand
Somchai Teawkeaw .... production assistant
Jo Wallett .... production coordinator: UK
Denis Wray .... production accountant: UK
Steve Fahl .... stand-in: david thewlis (uncredited)
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?

Several scenes feature Aung San Suu Kyi playing Pacobel's Canon. When she appeared on the BBC's Desert Island Discs in January 2013 she chose this piece of music as the selection "For Her".See more »
Anachronisms: Michael is shown in his office in November 1998 with an iMac. Whilst the iMac G3 came out in August 1998 the Tangerine version in his office was not available until January 1999.See more »
Movie Connections:
Piano Concerto No.23See more »


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32 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: The Lady, 1 March 2012
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

Based on the story by Rebecca Frayn, who had spent three years interviewing close confidantes of Aung San Suu Kyi, the narrative provides the points of view of both Suu Kyi herself, played by Michelle Yeoh, and her husband Michael Aris (David Thewlis), who because of her political awakening and development, caused plenty of emotionally painful, physical separation and time spent apart through her standing up for and accepting her countrymen's push for democratic leadership, after years of military rule from generalissimos Ne Win to Tan Shwe (Agga Poechit). It also presents different perspectives both within and outside of Burma as crises began to unfold with Suu Kyi a prisoner of her own home and country, and Michael being outside of it trying his best to sound out her, and Burma's plight. Then there's the sacrifice of family for country, where a breakup of the family unit was something inevitable in order to continue being there for her countrymen and not abandoning them at times of need.

In a story spanning decades that moves forward and back in time, Besson has a solid hand in knowing the highlights of the many years history to translate for the big screen, going back to the 40s when Suu Kyi's father Aung San, a war and independence hero, got assassinated, right down to her emergence in politics as a force to be reckoned with, and her subsequent house arrest, right up to the recent 2007 rallies and demonstrations by monks that eventually led to a deadly crackdown. The Lady presents Besson an opportunity to move away from his relatively family friendly fare of late with the Arthur and the Invisibles series, and also to perform an about turn from the usual action flicks, for something a lot more serious in gravitas, and needless to say the importance of getting the film right in most, if not all counts, as much as a filmmaker can with the resources at his disposal.

As such, some may feel that the film is relatively lightweight in its coverage of politics, although I must add that being confined to one's home in the prominent years of one's political life doesn't make for a smooth translation on screen, as there's only so much that one can do within the fantastic recreation of Suu Kyi's lakeside home. Instead a softer, more heartfelt approach through a love story opened up Suu Kyi as a character who's a lot more down to earth, than just a democracy icon. Besson's knack for handling strong female characters couldn't be more pronounced here, with plenty of opportunities in scenes to show she does not cower even with gun barrels pointed at her face, nor accept the constant nonsense dished out by the military might.

Despite the lack of action, you can feel Luc Besson's release of glee in channeling that frustration to mocking the military top brass, from their deliberate big moments and silly gestures bordering on the comical, to their illogical superstitions, with characterization being very much in line with our esteemed ex Minister Mentor's comments in WikiLeaks. Almost all generalissimos and their underlings are ridiculously decorated, and make extremely naive calls as if nobody can see through their simple rouse. It's a story of grace versus guns, which in any other typical Besson movie it's no surprise if it comes with preference for the latter, except for The Lady which trades in for the softer power approach.

Michelle Yeoh lost quite a lot of weight in order to physically resemble the lead role, and her time spent on researching Suu Kyi was time well spent as she nailed her mimicry down to a pat. Even her lines spoken in Burmese were flawless. Not that I can understand the language, but the large percentage of Burmese audience that I've watched this with were nodding and acknowledging her diction and fluency, as well as her performance of the real life heroine of their lives. In short, they were in awe by her elegance and poise in making Suu Kyi come alive on screen. David Thewlis also shone in his role as the husband standing firmly behind her decision and to make sacrifices knowingly for the greater good, for the benefit of even more people in a country that needs his wife more than he needs her. Together they made their struggle felt, and will seek to move even the most stoic of hearts. And the actors who played the Burmese generals, you guys surely hammed it up effortlessly.

This superb film may be travelling the festival and commercial theatrical circuits now, and will probably pick up a slew of film awards along the way. But what's more important and I'm sure it'll achieve, is to bring the attention of the world towards Suu Kyi's, and Burma's continued plight that seemed to be with no end in sight. You may not be very familiar with what may have transpired over the decades of strife in Burma, but The Lady brings you up to speed with a succinctly packed historical lesson centered around one of the world's enduring icons of freedom and democracy. A definite recommendation for this wonderful effort.

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