By Meghan Punjabi
Meryl Streep wows audiences once again with her stirring portrayal of Margaret Thatcher as she truly channels The Iron Lady. In each of her latest blockbusters, it seems Streep has mastered the art of imitation. After her role as a ruthless high fashion magazine editor in The Devil Wears Prada and as the gregarious food-loving cook Julia Child in Julie & Julia, her role as the well-known Margaret Thatcher did not disappoint.
As much as fans are pleased with Streep’s performance, however, they are disappointed with other aspects of the movie. The movie shifts from an interesting illustration of controversial British leader Margaret Thatcher’s tumultuous career to a more depressing look into Thatcher’s life today. Instead of telling a story about “the iron lady,” it tells the story of the “aged, weak, retired, and disturbed woman suffering from dementia and loneliness.”
Unfortunately, Thatcher’s prime years are depicted only minimally. With only glimpses of a few of her most dubious decisions in history, there is too little a focus on what audiences came to the theaters hoping to see. Some of Thatcher’s most famous executive decisions, like launching the Falklands war, taking Gorbachev’s measure, transforming the worsening British economy, and keeping Britain off the euro are inadequately acknowledged.
While Streep can’t possibly justify the strange priorities of the script, she makes the most of every scene. And so the simple sight of Streep as the aged Thatcher buying milk in a grocery store at the beginning of the movie instantly becomes engrossing.