Re: Last movie impressions
The Iron Lady:
Ok, I'll admit it - I'm British. And old enough to remember (well, the last few years of her reign anyway) Thatcher being in power. This both qualifies and disqualifies me from writing what might be considered a universal review, since I already 'know what's going to happen', and am likely to have a political bias for or against her...I'll try though!
I went in expecting to be presented with a 2 and a half hour account of Thatcher's political career, along with a presentation of her controversial decisions (breaking the unions, the Falkland War etc), and to a certain extent I got that. However, the creators have been very clever in framing the story in terms of the dementia that the present-day Lady Thatcher supposedly suffers from. This allows them to overcome the criticism (from some of Thatcher's own advisors, even) that the film has a Conservative agenda, and/or is concerned with protecting her legacy. Whether this is a successful tactic or not is up for debate, but it seems clear that the decision to approach the movie in this way was a direct result of the difficulty with which we treat real-life political leaders in film (well, the ones that weren't evil anyway).
As for the acting, Streep does a fantastic job, well deserving of her Oscar, and really humanizes the Iron Lady - something never really thought possible before, either by her fans or her detractors. This has led to some criticism in the UK, but you can't argue against Streep's acting talents.
I'd love to hear what some non-UK people thought about it, especially those who may be hearing about Thatcher for the first time!