Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher earned the nickname of the "Iron Lady" for her scathing verbal attacks on Soviet ambition, and strong opposition to the will of powerful unions. A new biopic starring Meryl Streep, entitled after Thatcher's nickname, looks to potray the Baroness' legacy, for better or worse, on the silver screen:
During the film's production this past February, The Guardian's Stuart Jeffries noted that the film will focus "on a helpfully self-containable narrative moment in order to provide a condensed character sketch of the eponymous (anti)hero." Jeffries also expressed some resentment for the role being slotted to an American.
Thatcher's children were said to be "horrified" about the film last Summer, after learning that the script depicted the Baroness "as an elderly dementia-sufferer looking back on her career with sadness." A friend of the family told the Telegraph in July 2010 that Thatcher's children “ think it sounds like some Left-wing fantasy. They feel strongly about it, but will not speak publicly for fear of giving it more publicity."
However, the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye notes that the film does not live up to what was "commonly agreed that our greatest Prime Minister since Churchill would be vilified." Bamigboye writes that after seeing the film in a London preview before its UK release in January "The screen Thatcher talks of the tough decisions she had to make for which she would be hated but perhaps understood years later."
The self-admitted liberal Streep told Bamigboye:
"I still don’t agree with a lot of her policies, but I feel she believed in them and that they came from an honest conviction, and that she wasn’t a cosmetic politician just changing make-up to suit the times. She stuck to what she believed in, and that’s a hard thing to do."
The Telegraph's Cristina Odone also writes that the film did not live up to fears that "the Baroness would be played as a cruel capitalist who waged war against the salt of the earth miners of the type featured in Billy Elliot." Odone writes:
"Today's politicians should draw inspiration from this portrait of a leader with guts who transformed a country struggling with a deep economic crisis, angry protests, and autocratic unions."
The Iron Lady is set for a December 30, 2011 release in the United States.