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The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 13 January 2012 (USA)
2:22 | Trailer
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.


Phyllida Lloyd


Abi Morgan (screenplay)
279 ( 2,627)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Margaret Thatcher
Jim Broadbent ... Denis Thatcher
Susan Brown ... June - Housekeeper
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


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


Never compromise


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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 »


When Margaret Thatcher is in a room with three of her cabinet members and two others discussing the economy and budget cuts, The door behind them is alternately open and closed between shots. See more »


Margaret Thatcher: [switching off television] I don't recognize myself.
See more »


Featured in The Iron Lady: House of Commons (2011) See more »


Soldiers of the Queen
(Leslie Stuart)
Performed by The Military Band of The Queens Regiment
Licensed courtesy of Essential Media Group LLC
See more »

User Reviews

An Excellent Portrayal Which Teaches Us Nothing.
13 January 2012 | by DJRMewziqueSee all my reviews

At last, the long-awaited film of the life of Margaret Thatcher arrived in theatres and, more importantly, the long-awaited performance of guaranteed-another-Oscar-nomination Meryl Streep.

With a bit of a thud.

Entering the theatre, I hoped this film would be an entertaining history lesson on the reign of the much loved/hated Thatcher, as I remember her being in power, but as I was a kid, I remember little about any details of her days ruling the UK. However, by the time the credits rolled, I felt I didn't learn very much. At all.

Early reviews critiqued this film for focusing too much on Thatcher in her later years, stricken with dementia. This is couldn't be any more true. In a very clichéd, seen-it-all-before fashion, Thatcher's life is rolled out in fragmented segments as an older Thatcher reminisces with the ghost of her late husband, played by Jim Broadbent.

Yes, The Iron Lady is primarily portrayed as a woman who speaks with a hallucination of her husband, thus making her flashbacks seem less like fact and more like fanciful bit memories of a crazy person. Very short, sporadic flashbacks that don't offer up much detail, nuance or information and insight into the woman herself. It was more like looking through a flashback of headlines that lead you to skim through the article rather than reading it.

And such a delivery is a real disservice not just to an audience craving some real glimpse into the life of the first female leader of the Western world, but to both Thatcher and Meryl Streep themselves, whose riveting performance is lost in a film with no real direction, focus or substance.

There is no doubt that the Golden-Globe-nominated Streep is a lock for her seventeenth Oscar nomination, as her transformation into the titular woman of iron is extraordinary. Sadly, I cannot say the same about the film.

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UK | France



Release Date:

13 January 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Iron Lady See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$220,409, 1 January 2012

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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