Monday, May 07, 2012

We watched The Iron Lady movie, on Amazon Prime via the roku last night. It has been available for a while, but we'd both been reluctant to commit to watching it. Neither of us is crazy about biopics, which tend to be Hollywood hatchet jobs of the subject. I think that is almost universal, I can't think of one that revealed a truth, told an important story faithfully, made me like or admire the person more, or even just understand their work in a different way. Instead they invariably leave a sour taste that taints all future thought.

In this case, I'd say it is worth seeing just for Meryl Streep -- her performance is stunning, as always. The rest of the cast is good too, but neither of us liked how the movie jumped around from present to past. The chronology is very confusing. There was an excessive amount of attention to present day (probably because they wanted to show off the make-up job, which admittedly, was marvelous). But that took away a lot of time from covering details of British history, Thatcher's early life and her political career. In fact, it reminded Bob of another Streep movie, Julie and Julia, with its tedious Julie scenes subtracting from the far more interesting Julia story. Watching it made me wonder if I'd missed a news item, and Thatcher had died, because I couldn't believe they would include all these scenes of dementia in old age if she was living. It seemed too insensitive, invasive, speculative, and unfair to her and her family. To my surprise, I discovered that she is, indeed, still alive!

Bob said it left him feeling mad. So here's another example of a biopic that was ill-advised!

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