Thanks to Paul Lynch for the heads up for this Guardian review of the Iron Lady. On Streep:
Says the Guardian, “Yet Streep, it transpires, is the one great weapon of this often silly and suspect picture.”
Her performance is astonishing and all but flawless; a masterpiece of mimicry which re-imagines Thatcher in all her half-forgotten glory. Streep has the basilisk stare; the tilted, faintly predatory posture.
Her delivery, too, is eerily good – a show of demure solicitude, invariably overtaken by steely, wild-eyed stridency.
“Traitors!” she declares as her premiership wobbles. She is condemned by Howe, challenged by Heseltine and finally upended by the cabinet turncoats. All that remains is the love of her adorable Denis and the angelic Mark, who we see prancing on a beach and playing on a swing. “Politicians, ugly buildings and whores,” growled John Huston in Chinatown. “They all get respectable if they last long enough.”
The Iron Lady makes its subject appear not merely respectable but poignant and sympathetic to boot: a woman who wanted nothing more than to change the world and make children happy (even if it is hers specifically).
The saga leaves her shuffling plaintively from room to room, the legend at rest, or being examined by her doctor. He asks her how she feels. “Feelings?” scoffs Thatcher. Feelings do no not interest her. Thoughts and ideas are what matter the most.
“What we think is what we become. And I think I am fine.” The Iron Lady, to a fault, seems to think that as well.