Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 18, 2012

‘The Iron Lady’ an emotional ride through adversity

DVD Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — As someone who has easily dedicated a lifetime’s worth of television hours nerding out to stuff like the History Channel, it is no wonder why I always eventually cave to biographical movies on some of the most famous/infamous people to make something of their humanity. I’ll admit that this particular person featured has not been one of those I’ve dedicated too many of my remaining brain cells to, but at least it’s fresher than the 10,000th documentary on World War II.

Whether  or not one actually tolerated this individual and their actions while in power, I’m a little disappointed in myself for not following what is in many ways a tale of overcoming rather incredible adversity. It ends up being a pretty powerful and interesting perspective on an important chapter in British history with much more balance than I would have expected on the subject of politics. “The Iron Lady” brings out one of the single most noticeable acting credits in quite some time and though a bit drawn out, is no worse than average in entertainment.

Much like the DiCaprio led “J. Edgar,” this film follows in a similar style where an elderly version of the main character recalls their life, this time a very famous Prime Minister named Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep). A key difference this time is audiences see her rise to prominence more as just her own memories in-between a sobering portrayal of her struggling through dementia.

This biography of sorts also brings out a much stronger emotional connection and it is hard not to root for her as she defies a system which looks down on women having any semblance of power. There is also a desire to console her as she can’t quite let go of her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent) who hangs around as apparition well after he has passed on. These two elements make what otherwise could have fallen flat and Streep in this show of strength certainly earned her third Best Actress nod.

I will note that by the time it was over, I felt like it had gone on much longer than it actually had (the 105 mins feels like 135 or more) and am glad they didn’t decide to add anything else to it. In other words, it is watchable, but one might want to watch on the weekend during the day and not if you are drowsy after a long day at the office.

It’s not a must see again on my list, yet I do recommend it for those who share my history buff tendencies because it actually does not pander more to one side than the other. DVD extra fans can also go further with some behind the scenes tidbits if they really dig the result. Final Verdict for “The Iron Lady:” three and a half out of five elections.

DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.