The Iron Lady

How are the mighty fallen! Meryl Streep, as usual, IS Baroness Thatcher – a doddery old bat who chats to her bespectacled, portly old husband who just happens to be dead, and escapes from her carers to go buy a pint of milk at the corner shop.

from http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/aug/26/healthandwellbeing.mentalhealth

In between scenes of her and Denis discussing degrees of deadness, we see the younger Margaret, pussy whipping cabinet ministers, wearing a succession of scary hats, and weeping over casualties of the Falklands war.  No, actually, I Iiked this film.  For a start, I was THERE (in London) during the Falklands war and actually nearly got raped and murdered by a Falklands veteran home on leave (and how much more THERE could you be?).  (I exaggerate, I got a lift hitch-hiking with one, and he was a bit weird, so I asked to be dropped off before my destination).

I wish I remembered more about The Past. Suppose some young thing comes round to my nursing home and says something like ‘Wow, so you were in London during the miners’ strike! Tell me all about it – wait, let me turn on my oral-history recording device!’.  And I’ll have to make it up, because – TYPICAL! – I spent most of my days in bed sleeping, and my nights trying to crack onto sexy Rene the french barman and watching (with disgust and fascination) other people get stoned.

For another thing, although we all HATE Margaret Thatcher (all of us bleeding heart types anyway, Mr F thinks she was a heroine of the free market) she WAS awfully determined and strong-minded –  when she had to make ‘the hard decisions’ she made them and devil take the consequences, and the film shows how damn hard it was working her way up through the aristocratic male ranks of the Conservative Party – she was pretty much the only woman in it at the time – to be Big Boss of Britain.

Plus Meryl Streep does great things with the voice (that low, thrilling voice alone is probably why a whole lot of men fantasise about being spanked by MT) and you come out thinking, well, pity about the coal miners and unemployed and beggars in Charing Cross and all that…but SOMEONE had to bring Britain into the 20th century!  (the film doesn’t cover the bit where she cancelled school milk for kiddies) Plus, weren’t she and Denis sweet together – like Derby and Joan, if Derby had been an embarrassing old alcoholic and Joan a power-crazed control-freak Prime Minister of Great Britain.  Which, but for MT, would now be just pathetic, measly little (not Little)  ‘Britain’ – according to her anyway.

David Cameron did NOT like this film.  My feeling is there’s a certain amount of ha ha so there in it. As in ‘well you old bitch, you pushed everyone around back in the day, but now you can’t even remember which century you’re in!’.  But I’m a big fan of what you don’t know won’t hurt you (ie a backstabber) so, you know..

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3 comments

  1. My thoughts are that although I really enjoyed Meryl Streeps portrayal and the flashbacks to Maggie Thatcher’s past glories, the depiction of her as a confused old lady having conversations with her late husband were too close to home, although some of the moments with Denis were funny (but probably total invented rubbbish). My gran, and now it appears my mother, had (or have) alzheimer’s. Ok, use it a few times, but not as the backbone of the whole movie.

    When I first walked out of the movie theatre after seeing Iron Lady was said I hated the film, but on reflection hatred is such a strong word. It must have a impression on me, as my feelings toward the film are still strong now. So if the aim of a film is to reach out and stir the emotions and thoughts of those who watch it, then ‘Iron lady’ hit the mark. It also reminded me that although I didn’t agree with Thatcher’s views then (and still don’t), I can however appreciate how much of an achievement it was for her to become the first female PM in the UK.

    It was also to me dissappointing that she was portrayed as ‘just a shop keeper’ when in fact she was a chemist who went on to become a barrister before becoming an MP then PM, see her bio, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

    But thanks Rose for the image of being spanked by MT, that will stick with me (damn it).

    Capt. S

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