Monday, January 30, 2012

The Iron Lady - Part II

Part I referenced Peter Foster's review of The Iron Lady.  He hated it.

Now that I've seen it, I can say that it was disappointing.  Generally, it was an annoying movie.  The first half hour had Maggie being portrayed mostly in her elderly, shaky mental state - which is completely irrelevant to the life I expected to see portrayed. I felt the urge to walk out but had a large popcorn to finish.  It got better, though there was still too much time spent with Thatcher in her dementia - and those parts of her political career she is best known for were given relatively short shrift.

The screen writer and director deserve low marks.  Meryl Streep does a decent job, but then she always does. Best actress?  I don't think so but maybe that's what they were shooting for.

The professional reviewer I trust most, James Berardinelli, comes closest to what I thought about it:

... The most disappointing aspect of The Iron Lady is that some of the most memorable hallmarks of Thatcher's time in power are glossed over. The Falklands War is covered at warp speed. An IRA attempt on her life gets a couple of minutes. Her relationship with U.S. President Ronald Reagan is confined to a brief scene of them dancing at an official function. By spending so much time with Thatcher in her dotage, the movie becomes limited in its ability to tell the story of her earlier years in a convincing, compelling fashion. One can get a better sense of her importance to recent history by reading her Wikipedia entry.
The pace is dreadfully slow; on those occasions when the flashback scenes generate some forward momentum, we are inevitably yanked back to the "present" so everything can slow down again. This approach can work when a movie features rich dialogue and impeccable performances, but The Iron Lady has neither. The screenplay is pedestrian and the acting, including that of star Meryl Streep, is unmemorable.
Other reviews - mixed:  from lousy to over-rated.

Update: Two more views - two Barbaras: Amiel and Kay.


Pissedoff said...

Sounds like the lefties of Hollywood were trying to do a hatchet job or some sort of Psyco garbage.

Patsplace said...

The film makes as much sense as asking a Reagan Conservative to do a film on Castro. Odds are it wont be flattering.

dmorris said...

You had to know they wouldn't portray Thatcher in anything resembling a positive light.

This is the same Hollywood that portrayed Che Guevara as an historical freedom-fightin' giant,hero,revolutionary-of-the people,none of which came anywhere near the truth.

I wouldn't trust Hollywood to do Winston Churchill's life story nowadays,he'd probably come out as a minor character to Stalin,and just slightly less disagreeable than Hitler.

I won't pay Hollywood a cent for this piece of "art",will wait for a young friend to "pirate" it and watch it for what it's worth,and for that matter,the value of the whole damned left-wing propaganda machine the film business has become.

JR said...

It was certainly a waste of time and money. The popcorn was good, though.

Anonymous said...

Actually I liked it because you heard so much political incorrectness on screeen. I agree that they could have cut 50% of the scenes on dementia. Also I would have liked to have seen much more about about all the demonstrations against deploying missiles in Europe and how Thatcher stood firm and helped bring about the fall of the Soviet empire.

Finally the scenes of chaos in London would have hit home even more if they had shown "bodies" piling up which unions kept people from burying.

But it was interesting to see how much her sex and class were looked down on and what incredible stamina she had (she slept only 4 or 5 hours a night). An incredible tough, tough lady.

Halfwise said...

I don't go to movies much, so I don't feel that I am missing anything by not seeing Iron Lady. It's no big surprise that the show is less than you hoped, though.

Did the Ayn Rand movie make it to a theatre near you? Wouldn't mind hearing an opinion on it.

Rotterdam said...

I saw the film and it made me puke.
They wasted half the time on her present state. It was awful, disgusting and insensitive.

JR said...

Re "Atlas Shrugged: Part I"

If it was in any local theatres I missed it. And I haven't been able to find it at Rogers Video.

Peter Foster reviewed it last October.

Elsewhere , it got mostly bad reviews.

JR said...

This may be the reason "Atlas Shrugged" isn't available at the video store. Not surprising that the CBC would gloat.

Halfwise said...

re Atlas Shrugged...when things get a buzz of public opinion the buzz comes in part from journalists and broadcasters. When those guys shun or ignore something, the buzz gets no boost.