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Opinions divided over Iron Lady
Culture & Life

Opinions divided over Iron Lady

14.03.2012 From our online archive
The Iron Lady premiere in London marked the arrival of a much awaited film on one of the UK's most controversial leaders, played by a Hollywood icon.

(CS) The Iron Lady premiere in London marked the arrival of a much awaited film on one of the UK's most controversial leaders, played by a Hollywood icon.

Screen queen Meryl Streep seems to have done it again, earning rave reviews for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The European premiere in London on Wednesday seemed to be the culmination of a media storm that had been brewing in the UK since the project was announced.

In February 2011 the first publicity shot of Streep as Thatcher was released and while Streep is no look-alike the transformation seemed uncanny, causing eager expectations.

Across UK media, critics and commentators have been cautious to attack Streep's performance. But when it comes to the stance the film takes on the Iron Lady herself, many have been less gracious.

The Guardian's Suzanne Moore went on to say that while Streep was “mesmeric” the film did not “lessen my hatred for the former Tory leader,” criticising the lack of perspective on Thatcher's political achievements.

Empire Magazine wrote that it was “one of Streep’s finest-ever performances. But beyond that it’s little more than a myth-enshrining exercise.” The New Yorker critic David Denby calls the film “brutally misconceived,” while New York Times's A.O. Scott concludes “you are left with the impression of an old woman who can’t quite remember who she used to be and of a movie that is not so sure either.”

Thatcher, who has lived a secluded life since suffering from dementia, and her family have not commented on the film, but apparently declined offers to attend a private screening, according to the BBC.

Streep is said to likely bag her 17th Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Lady Thatcher, already holding the record for most nominations of any actor. The 62-year-old New Jersey native is also set to receive the honorary award at the 2012 Berlin film festival.

Luxembourg audiences will have to wait until February 17 to make up their minds about the film, when the Iron Lady is scheduled to hit the screens in the Grand Duchy.