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The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 13 January 2012 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Phyllida Lloyd

Writer:

Abi Morgan (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,427 ( 285)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Margaret Thatcher
Jim Broadbent ... Denis Thatcher
Susan Brown ... June - Housekeeper
Alice da Cunha Alice da Cunha ... Cleaner
Phoebe Waller-Bridge ... Susie - Margaret's Secretary
Iain Glen ... Alfred Roberts
Alexandra Roach ... Young Margaret Thatcher
Victoria Bewick Victoria Bewick ... Muriel Roberts
Emma Dewhurst Emma Dewhurst ... Beatrice Roberts
Olivia Colman ... Carol Thatcher
Harry Lloyd ... Young Denis Thatcher
Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Hostess 1949
Michael Culkin ... Host 1949
Stephanie Jacob Stephanie Jacob ... Female Guest 1949
Robert Portal ... Grey Suited Guest - 1949
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Storyline

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 premiership. 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 don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never compromise

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La dama de hierro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$220,409, 1 January 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,017,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$114,956,699
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

DJ Films, Pathé, Film4 See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Streep prepared for the role by spending months watching broadcasts of Margaret Thatcher to learn her mannerisms and speech. She also spoke to 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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Young Denis Thatcher: Margaret, will you marry me?
[a pause, Margaret stares at him]
Young Denis Thatcher: Well?
Young Margaret Thatcher: [Margaret is still staring, Denis kisses her hand] Yes. Yes!
Young Denis Thatcher: [Margaret starts to cry from happiness, Denis leans in for a kiss, but she suddenly pulls back] What?
Young Margaret Thatcher: I love you so much but, I will never be one of those women, Denis. Who stays silent and pretty on the arm of her husband. Or remote and alone in the kitchen - doing the washing up, for that matter.
Young Denis Thatcher: [interrupts] I'm going to help with that...
Young Margaret Thatcher: No. One's life must matter, ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

1812 Festival Overture, Op. 49
(Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
Licensed courtesy of Imagem
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User Reviews

 
Oh, dear me no.
27 November 2011 | by iainhammerSee all my reviews

Just back from a screening in Hollywood, and this is I'm afraid something of a disappointment. Come Oscar time, I suspect her peers will throw the award into the much-loved Streep's lap, but the problem with a biopic is that however skilled the actor - great, even, in Streep's case - there is a tricky, unavoidable element of impersonation that inevitably creeps in and begins to dominate the characterization. It's particularly so in the scenes with Thatcher's Cabinet members, during which I also found myself distractedly thinking "Oh look, there's Mike Pennington, just like Michael Foot! Isn't Richard E. Grant the living double of Heseltine, and what about Anthony Head, the spitting image of Geoffrey Howe!?" And indeed, Spitting Image, the brilliant UK puppet satire show, often managed a more precise evocation of individual politicians than anyone here is achieving. Perhaps part of my irritation stems from the fact that I lived through the Thatcher era and all the nightmare years of strikes, garbage in the streets and rolling blackouts that preceded her and paved the way for her disciplined and dominating approach. She was like a mother-figure to the United Kingdom, telling the country it was time to clean up after itself and put its toys away (and indeed she often seemed, literally, that patronizing). She also did immense damage to the UK, to its cultural life and the social fabric she so brutally unraveled, witness her famous claim "there is no such thing as society", the mantra of the era's ethos and the rationalization of greed. The consequences of her tenancy of No 10 Downing Street were in part what persuaded me to emigrate. Her brutal order, during the Falklands conflict, to sink the Belgrano (which had been steaming speedily away from the conflict zone) seemed to me then, as it does now, a callous and indefensible action. She papered it over with obnoxious displays of public piety and jingoism ("Rejoice! Rejoice!") and if I were a believer in such things I'd hope she spends a long long time in Hades for the Falklands war. The movie effectively skitters over all this, ignores her de-regulation of banking, sets one rather brief scene at the Brighton hotel bombing minus the presence of Norman Tebbit and his unfortunate wife's awful injuries, makes no mention of Arthur Scargill (relying on archive film of the miner's protests and the subsequent riots which galvanized the nation), and uses the Poll Tax conflict to suggest she was by then well advanced into a mental instability which marked the beginning of the end of her reign. Her daughter Carol appears as a sort of goofy, endearing helpmate (no mention of Carol's quiet disappearance from public life after her throwaway racism leaked to the public) and her son Mark, a nasty piece of work by any measure, is merely a distant presence on the phone from South Africa - no mention here of his involvement in an attempted coup in Africa. Most annoying is the movie's framing device - Thatcher is a doddering old lady beset by Alzheimer's (as indeed she is) and the memories which surface through her confusion form the body of the film. Alas, skilled as J. Roy Helland's makeup job is, the aged Thatcher kept reminding me of Catherine Tate's foul-mouthed Granny comedy routine, and the thought just wouldn't go away. Thatcher was a giant presence in the global arena and literally changed the world. This oddly unaffecting film, prone to sentimentalizing its subject (which normally is a very un-British approach), is essentially a virtuoso star turn and is not the biopic Thatcher warrants, demands, and deserves.


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