Jeff Wells has gone to bat for Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady:
You can dribble the Viola Davis basketball all over the court and shoot swish shots to your heart’s content, but that won’t change the fact that Meryl Streep’s freakishly dead-on performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (Weinstein, 12.30) seems like a much more likely winner of the Best Actress Oscar right now. As far as I’m concerned it’s a Streep vs. Michelle Williams (i.e., as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn) contest with Davis half-elbowed aside.
There is no doubt that Streep turns in yet another brilliant impersonation with The Iron Lady. At some point while watching her in the film you forget completely that you’re watching Meryl Streep doing Margaret Thatcher and you feel like you are really watching Margaret Thatcher — and all of the good and bad that goes along with that. It’s sort of the same quandary Leonardo DiCaprio finds himself in in J. Edgar. We believe he’s J. Edgar. But then we have to deal with our feelings about J. Edgar.