I was lucky enough to catch a preview of the Weinstein Brother’s Film “Iron Lady” about Margaret Thatcher. One thing I can say about Margaret Thatcher is that I do admire the woman even if I disagree with her politics and the way she ran the country. That said, the film was a bit of a let down.
Lady Thatcher is well portrayed by Meryl Streep as a senile and demented old dear. She is haunted by the ghost of Dennis, portrayed by Jim Broadbent. I’m not sure if that is an accurate depiction of Lady Thatcher. If it is, it is a sad statement. But, I still feel that between Reagan and Thatcher–Thatcher is far more the person who is the one to be admired and remembered as a real leader. I say real leader, because, like her or hate her, Thatcher was indeed a leader. It’s where she took Britain that is up to debate.
They didn’t get into the dissent which Thatcher caused other than a quick squiz at Michael Heseltine’s (Richard E. Grant) bid for the Tory Leadership. But, the events were presented in more of a demented stream of consciousness than any chronological order. But, that was the way the whole film went.
The one thing that really stuck in my mind was Nicholas Farrell’s Airey Neave. I knew of Airey Neave as one of the people who escaped from Colditz and then as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. One Colditz site describes Neave well:
This man needs more than a page, he needs a site. Please click here for our sister site http://www.aireyneave.com – please be patient while it is under construction.
Even though he was a cameo in this film, his importance seemed to be signified in his contribution to Thatcher’s rise. What would the Thatcher regime have been had Neave not been assassinated by the INLA? CIA? It has been hinted that Neave would have shaken up the UK’s security services and that the INLA was not really behind his assassination, but that the CIA was the real culprit. One can only guess how history would have shaken out if there had been a Neave-Thatcher tory regime!
That might even make me a tory!
Anyway, I think there are a lot better films about Margaret Thatcher’s life such as The Long Walk to Finchley and Margaret. Maybe a real Thatcher fan might want to see this, but I think they would be even more upset by this portrayal of her.
It would be a better idea if the Weinsteins scrapped this film and made something about Airey Neave using Farrell. The only good thing about this film was Meryl Streep’s imitation of Margaret Thatcher, but there have been a lot of those. How much money does one want to put that Streep stands a good chance of an Academy Award when they could just as well give the award to the person who portrayed Thatcher in Spitting Image.
Give this film a pass to go learn about Airey Neave if you don’t know about him already.