Margaret Thatcher has died. The Iron Lady. A movie by Phyllida Lloyd, starring Meryl Streep - Aviva - Berlin Online Magazin und Informationsportal für Frauen Kultur im Februar 2023 - Beitrag vom 16.07.2012

Margaret Thatcher has died. The Iron Lady. A movie by Phyllida Lloyd, starring Meryl Streep
Jennifer Gallagher

"The Iron Lady", Margaret Thatcher´s nickname as a result of her policies as British prime minister, is the title of a biopic that sets itself apart from many other biographical films...

...because it tells the story of a woman who is still alive, and who, arguably, polarises opinions more than many other public figures.

NEWS: 9th April 2013Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" of British politics and friend of the Jewish people is dead.

Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher, the first woman to be UK prime minister, has died at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke. Lady Thatcher (born Margaret Roberts), who retired from public speaking in 2002, had suffered poor health for several years.

Throughout her political career Lady Thatcher earned the reputation of being a friend to the Jewish people, but in fact it was as a young girl in the 1930 that she had an experience that probably sowed the seed of empathy. Her older sister Muriel had an Austrian pen-friend called Edith. When Austria was occupied by Hitler, Edith´s father asked Margaret and Muriel´s parents if they would look after his daughter. They agreed. Edith stayed with the Roberts family, escaping persecution, and was able to start a new life in South America.

In 1959, Lady Thatcher was elected a member of parliament for Finchley which had a high Jewish population. She was a member of the Anglo-Israel Friendship League of Finchley and the Conservative Friends of Israel. When she became the Leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, many Jewish politicians were in her cabinet.

In 1986 Margaret Thatcher was the first serving British Prime Minister to visit Israel. However, her relationship with Israel was not always calm sailing. She condemned Israel´s bombing of the Iraqi nuclear plant in 1981 as "a grave breach of international law" [Charles C. Johnson (28 December 2011), "Thatcher and the Jews". Tablet]. She also imposed an arms embargo on Israel during the 1982 Lebanon war.

Lady Thatcher will have a ceremonial funeral with full military honours. It will take place at London´s St Paul´s Cathedral.

Margaret Thatcher, was not only the longest-serving (1979-1990) British prime minister of the 20th century, she is also the only woman to have held the post. She is probably most famous for her uncompromising position regarding British trade unions, IRA hunger strikers, the Soviet Union and the Falklands War.

But despite all the political controversy surrounding Margaret Thatcher, "The Iron Lady" is not a political film. Director Phyllida Lloyd and writer Abi Morgan (having teamed up again since their collaboration on Mamma Mia!, which also starred Meryl Streep) decided to ignore Margaret Thatcher´s political resonance when making this film – a decision that might be very disappointing and unsatisfying even if you hate her or not.

The intention of this film is to portray a personality. This is made very clear in the first scene, when an elderly and dementia-gripped Margaret Thatcher, played by Meryl Streep, is shown in a grocery shop buying a bottle of milk, unable to cope with the fast-moving world outside her London home.

It is well-known that Margaret Thatcher actually despised feminism, having famously said: "The feminists hate me, don´t they? And I don´t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison." However, it is an interesting and ironic twist that throughout "The Iron Lady", Phyllida Lloyd and Abi Morgan have made the woman´s drama more important than the political drama of Thatcher´s life. For example, Thatcher´s transformation into a credibile candidate for prime minister is portrayed as a makeover: she has to learn to talk differently, do her hair differently and dress differently in order to suceed in the British parliament and later on the world stage. Just before the beginning of the Falklands War, when the Secretary of State questions her knowledge of war, Thatcher replies: "With all due respect, sir, I have done battle every single day of my life and many men have underestimated me before," a sentiment that many women can probably identify with.

"The Iron Lady" takes place over 48 hours, in the present. With her daughter Carol´s (Olivia Colman) help Thatcher starts to finally throw out the clothes of her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent), who has been dead for eight years. Suffering from dementia, Thatcher talks to her beloved Denis, whom she believes is still with her at home, making his usual jokes as a way of emotionally supporting her. As she struggles through a dinner party and a visit to a doctor, various things such a TV report on terrorism, a home movie, a Falklands War victory statuette trigger memories of the key events of her life, which we experience through Thatcher´s stream of consciousness, and documentary footage which isn´t meant to be viewed as "the truth" but rather through Thatcher´s eye´s as she remembers it as a woman who is seriously afflicted by dementia, and distressed by the loss of her husband.

Meryl Streep´s performance as Margaret Thatcher is compassionate, quiet, understated and arguably her best. At the time of writing, Streep has won both the "Best Actress" BAFTA award in London on 12 February, 2012 and the 2012 Golden Globe for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama", for her role as Margaret Thatcher. She has been also nominated for her third Oscar for the same role. At the Berlinale 2012, Streep was awarded the "Goldener Ehrenbär" (Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement).

AVIVA TIP: If you want to know more about the political events that unfurled when Thatcher was prime minister, "The Iron Lady" is not going to inform you about them. Instead be prepared to see a touching, feminist version of Shakespeare´s King Lear portraying how power slips away – politically, physically, intellectually and mentally – and what it is like to deal with life on your own, and old age.

The Iron Lady
GB 2012
Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Original screenplay: Abi Morgan
Main cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Boadsbent, Olivia Coleman, Harry Lloyd, Iain Glen, Susan Brown, Alice da Cunha, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alexandra Roach.
Original music: Thomas Newman
Cinematography: Elliot Davis
Editing: Justine Wright
FSK: freigegeben ab 6 Jahren
Bildformat: 1:2,35 / 16:9
Sprachen/Ton: Deutsch DTS 5.1. Deutsch DD 5.1. Englisch DD 5.1
Untertitel: Deutsch (ausblendbar), Deutsch für Hörgeschädigte (ausblendbar)
Bonusmaterial: Making-of, 6 Featurettes, Interviews mit Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent und Regisseurin Phyllida Lloyd
Laufzeit Hauptfilm: ca. 101 Minuten
Laufzeit Bonusmaterial: ca. 68 Minuten

Blu-ray Disc
FSK: freigegeben ab 6 Jahren
Bildformat: 1:2,35 / 1080p High Definition
Sprachen/Ton: Deutsch DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Englisch DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Untertitel: Deutsch (ausblendbar), Deutsch für Hörgeschädigte (ausblendbar)
Bonusmaterial: Making-of, 6 Featurettes, Interviews mit Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Nicholas Farrell, Alexandra Roach, Richard E. Grant, Olivia Colman, Regisseurin Phyllida Lloyd, Produzent Damian Jones und Drehbuchautorin Abi Morgan
Dt. und Original-Kinotrailer
Laufzeit Hauptfilm: ca. 105 Minuten
Laufzeit Bonusmaterial: ca. 104 Minuten
Bestellnummer: 3834
EAN-Code: 4010324 03834 0

Production companies: Film4, UK Film Council, Canal+, CinéCinéma, and Goldcrest Pictures (as Goldcrest Film Production LLC) and Pathé

CONCORDE Home Entertainment

DVD & & Blu-ray release date: 19.07.2012

For more information look at:


Beitrag vom 16.07.2012

Jennifer Gallagher