"It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause."
-Theodore Roosevelt

14 February 2012

The Iron Lady

Meryl Streep's magnificent Maggie Thatcher well and truly matches Helen Mirren's remarkable Queen. It helps, of course, that the script is so well written by Abi Morgan, but to humanise this incredible woman is a great achievement, whoever you give the credit to.

Of course, it is only her most obvious frailty that provides the window of opportunity. Morgan's script capitalises on the ageing Thatcher's senility, and I don't think there is any other way really to bring the woman down to earth enough for an audience to relate to her as a character.

The film lacks some of The Queen's zing. It creates magnificent character, but because of its broad sweep, it fails to create such a clear focus and the character is only just enough to cover the rather flat narrative structure.

The Iron Lady is a very good film, and one well worth watching. But just in case any of you Poms were thinking about it, I've now seen enough biographical films about your twentieth century politicians. They're really not that interesting.

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