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The Iron Lady - 2/1/2012 2:29:12 AM   
Empire Admin

 

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- 2/1/2012 2:29:12 AM   
C3

 

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"There are many who will never forgive her for what she did (the mines, the Falklands, the poll tax, and that’s just the half of it"

Er except The Falklands was one of the major successes of her rule. When reviewing the film, try not to include your personal, and incorrect prejudices as they really have no relevance. Streep will get the oscar for this though..end of story.

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RE: - 2/1/2012 12:02:46 PM   
attakdog

 

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Yeah who are these people who will "never forgive her for the falklands"??? Aren't they called Argentines??? I've certainly never met anyone here pissed off at her winning back the Falklands!

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- 2/1/2012 12:19:26 PM   
sadtwat

 

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I have to agree, I've been thinking for a while that Oliver Stone - who may not necessarily have made a great Thatcher movie - certainly would've been a better choice of director.

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Post #: 4
Re: Falklands - 3/1/2012 7:34:16 AM   
KubrickSmith

 

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The falklands "war" was a re-election campaign that cost people their lives - not so forgivable IMHO.

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Re: Falklands - 3/1/2012 7:34:17 AM   
KubrickSmith

 

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The falklands "war" was a re-election campaign that cost people their lives - not so forgivable IMHO.

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Post #: 6
- 3/1/2012 10:27:25 PM   
artilleryman


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i'd rather stick a red-hot knitting needle down my jap's eye than watch this revisionist shit. This woman is responsible for the destruction of entire communities, gave succour to murderous dictators and waged war to win re-election. Fuck Thatcher. And fuck Streep for having anything to do with his bullshit.

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Post #: 7
STREEP ASIDE.... - 4/1/2012 7:06:41 PM   
ROTGUT

 

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why the hell would anyone pay 8 quid to watch some rose tinted hogwash about this old battle ax???? WTF?????

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RE: Re: Falklands - 4/1/2012 10:38:09 PM   
Emyr Thy King


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Care to explain that one?

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RE: STREEP ASIDE.... - 5/1/2012 11:12:36 AM   
Spaldron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ROTGUT

why the hell would anyone pay 8 quid to watch some rose tinted hogwash about this old battle ax???? WTF?????


This ^

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RE: STREEP ASIDE.... - 5/1/2012 11:31:21 AM   
UTB


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but it's THE FILM EVENT OF 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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RE: The Iron Lady - 5/1/2012 2:01:07 PM   
Super Hans


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I'm not really old or politically aware enough to have strong feelings about Thatcher either way, but I can't help thinking that it looks like predictable, Oscar-desperate fodder of the highest order.  Any film with Meryl Streep in a wig, playing a real person has little other agenda in my opinion...

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RE: The Iron Lady - 5/1/2012 2:27:51 PM   
MonsterCat


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB

but it's THE FILM EVENT OF 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott are weeping in their cornflakes as we speak.


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Post #: 13
tory vermin - 5/1/2012 3:01:28 PM   
spamandham

 

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Complete and utter piece of shit.

The film's also awful.

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Post #: 14
RE: tory vermin - 5/1/2012 3:06:34 PM   
Spaldron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spamandham

Complete and utter piece of shit.

The film's also awful.



I see what you did there.

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RE: - 5/1/2012 3:06:54 PM   
JIm R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: C3

"There are many who will never forgive her for what she did (the mines, the Falklands, the poll tax, and that’s just the half of it"

Er except The Falklands was one of the major successes of her rule. When reviewing the film, try not to include your personal, and incorrect prejudices as they really have no relevance. Streep will get the oscar for this though..end of story.


No relevance ? Incorrect prejudices, Really ? unless you lived through it. Unless you did, you have no idea the impact she had.

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RE: RE: - 5/1/2012 3:44:04 PM   
Emyr Thy King


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I have to admit Jim, I did detect a slight undercurrent of political jabbery pockery (sic) in that review by Dan Join-in (sic). Regardless of our political persuasions, a film ought to be reviewed on its merit rather than its subject matter - no matter how odious some find it/them.

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RE: RE: - 5/1/2012 3:48:16 PM   
JIm R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Emyr Thy King

I have to admit Jim, I did detect a slight undercurrent of political jabbery pockery (sic) in that review by Dan Join-in (sic). Regardless of our political persuasions, a film ought to be reviewed on its merit rather than its subject matter - no matter how odious some find it/them.


TBH it was the interview a few issues of Empire back with the director that boiled my piss, making her out as some good for woman's rights or feminist icon. Christ alive !
 
Respect your views Em 100% as you know mate, but I for one, regardless of how well made the film is or it's qualities (I am sure it has many), will not be going within a 100 miles of a screen to watch it or give my hard earned money to experience it's virtues.  

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RE: RE: - 5/1/2012 4:14:08 PM   
Emyr Thy King


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I'll admit to raising an eyebrow to calling her a feminist icon. Unless of course that doesn't say much about feminism. I think what most people will have a problem with is the perception the film lionises (as Jolin points out) Thatcher. One which depicts the myth of the woman rather than closely examining her legacy and what she left behind. I more than understand your revulsion dude and I won't suggest we go see it this month don't worry.

Although I think it's important to re-iterate the importance of being neutral in a review. I don't come here to read into someone's political slant, whether I agree with it or not. I want someone's professional opinion of a film. Rather than attempts at trying to score political points with the odd comment and therefore pander to an anticipated audience.

< Message edited by Emyr Thy King -- 5/1/2012 4:26:31 PM >


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RE: RE: - 5/1/2012 4:17:59 PM   
Rgirvan44


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Sympathetic films about world leaders are not in of themselves bad things - Oliver Stone's Nixon is a good example of this. 

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RE: RE: - 5/1/2012 4:27:07 PM   
Rgirvan44


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The Daily Mail gave this two stars. Shocked!

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Post #: 21
RE: RE: - 5/1/2012 4:29:10 PM   
Emyr Thy King


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What I like about Oliver Stone's approach is he attempts to at least understand the character, rather than merely assassinate someone's character. I haven't seen all of his film W., but from what I remember. One issue he explored was George W's troubled relationship with Bush senior and this may have had an effect on his foreign policy.

< Message edited by Emyr Thy King -- 5/1/2012 4:31:41 PM >


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"This whole imbroglio is epiphenomenal"...."demigogic faux egalitarianism" - Will Self

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RE: RE: - 5/1/2012 5:05:48 PM   
Spaldron


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Looking forward to Mark Kermode's review of this tomorrow. By all indications he's going to tear it a new one.

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And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.

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Post #: 23
- 6/1/2012 10:15:38 AM   
xtro

 

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Don't like the ending. Would have been much better had she been decapitated and her head stuck on a long sharp pole-like object...

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Post #: 24
RE: - 6/1/2012 5:05:59 PM   
Wild about Wilder


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She'll obviously get an Oscar nom but i'll be surprised if she gets 1 for a BAFTA.

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Post #: 25
RE: - 6/1/2012 6:08:23 PM   
Emyr Thy King


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I'm sure the Ghurkas can arrange that.

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Post #: 26
FLASHMAN - 7/1/2012 4:35:14 PM   
Frank Comiskey

 

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Mama Mia! The director made a rag week shambles of the ABBA musical, and does the same here; Streep is magnificent despite every possible directorial obstacle, and special mention to some of the most convincing make-up ever applied; Meryl should get to Oscar Number 3, (only one away from all-time joint-first with Kate Hepburn) but it will be by the whispiest bouffant follicle...............................

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Incredible Performance from Streep - 8/1/2012 4:18:02 PM   
Workshed


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I'll adree with Dan's generous 3 star review. Streep is astonishing and plays Thatcher not as a caracature, but as a formidable strong woman and a human being! I feel that the film on the other hand was a missed opportunity, spending more time focusing on the mental decline of an old lady rather than spending more time and her controversial policies in office. The film is told in dimented flashbacks that zip through all of the (in)famous parts of her political career spending no time to flesh anything our of figure out any reasoning for anything and then abruptly ends. All in all, it's structurally flawed, weak as a film but worth watching for Streep alons which speaks volumes about her performance.

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Post #: 28
RE: Incredible Performance from Streep - 10/1/2012 8:30:12 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

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Margaret Thatcher, Britain's prime minister from 1979 to 1990, is now old and frail.  Suffering from senile dementia, she is constantly imagining that her husband Dennis is still with her.  She flashes back to her life, a life which saw her rise up from being the daughter of a shopkeeper to become Britain's first female prime minister and take controversial decisions, decisions which made her a heroine to those of a Right wing persuasion and a villain to those on the Left……


I am not the kind of person to publically criticise reviews by other people, because I know there are many film writers far better than me.  People reviewing the The Iron Lady though, in my opinion, often seem far too keen to let their political views influence their review, something which I am going to attempt to avoid.  Then again, it's quite hard to be objective considering the movie is about such a divisive figure as Margaret Thatcher, a person whose mere mention still inspires strong feelings, from Daily Mail readers who claim she is Britain's Greatest Prime Minister to Guardian readers who have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge waiting to be opened when she dies.   Such a person ought to inspire an interesting, perhaps even incendiary, film, a film that should get people debating furiously as they leave the cinema and go down the pub.  Sadly, The Iron Lady is not that film.  It's a curiously misjudged and often tedious exercise that seems to have left most viewers with the sense of a missed opportunity.  Before you ask, yes, Meryl Streep is absolutely fantastic.  Unfortunately, almost everything else is rather poor.

The film is structured around the elderly Thatcher remembering high points from her career, and this kind of approach can result in quite a moving film, but in this movie it's just depressing.  In fact, at least a third of the film consists of the old lady pottering about her abode imagining her dead husband is with her, and you'll probably get sick of Dennis popping up all the time.  Now senile dementia is something that many of us will have to face in our later years, and I certainly don't think filmmakers should shy away from it.  I believe filmmakers, if they so wish, should be able to confront issues that are upsetting and in doing so maybe help us understand and come to terms with them.  But in a film about Maggie Thatcher it just seems wrong.  I don't think that you have to be a Thatcher lover to feel that there's something morbid and even offensive to dwell on the dementia of someone who is still alive. We also don't know exactly how bad her condition is at the moment. Perhaps more importantly though, it means that the important stuff, you know, the stuff that inspired the strong feelings about Thatcher, is not given enough time, and we also have the impression of two films of totally differing pace badly glued together.

The film rushes through all the 'past' stuff at full speed.  The elocution lessons.  The Falkland's War.  The Miner's Strike.  The Poll Tax. Much of it is there, but makes little impression. Often events are presented in montage, with much use of real footage of the time and newspaper headlines, but there is no insight into why Thatcher made the decisions she did, nor of the impact of her policies.   Many other things are just alluded to, and if you know much about Thatcher you'll probably pick up on them, but if you don't you'll probably miss a great deal.   The chief reason she was virtually forced to resign by her party was because of her opposition to any sort of integration with Europe.  Now you would think that, because the subject of our country's relationship to Europe is currently a very important one and one that affects us all, the film would devote a bit of time to this.  Sadly, you would be mistaken, because all you get are a couple of lines of dialogue.

The Iron Lady is the worst kind of biopic, mechanically rushing through events with seemingly little thought.  I suppose that adapting a neutral view was the safest option, though a part of me thinks that the only successful biopic of Thatcher, the only one that would have some passion behind it, would be one that either lionizes her or attacks her.   After all, the impact, whether you feel they are good or bad, of many of the decisions she made is still felt today; there seems to be little middle ground on people's view of her.  The Iron Lady just has no sense of her impact, except as a kind of feminist icon, something I think the real Thatcher would be appalled by.  Nor does it bother to get all of its facts right.  I am not the sort of person who expects every film to be 100% factual and am willing to forgive a few historical inaccuracies if the film is enjoyable.  Braveheart played fast and loose with fact, but it's an entertaining movie.  The Iron Lady is not an entertaining movie, yet still gets things wrong, and I do think that with recent history there should be more attempt to get things right, especially as many people involved are still alive. For example, much is made of Thatcher entering into an all-male world in the House of Commons.  Actually, there were women already there, and if this is just a case of deliberate alteration for a certain emphasis, then I doubt Shirley Williams and Betty Boothroyd take kindly to being airbrushed out of history.  The same can be said for Norman Tebbit.  Like him or loath him, he was virtually Thatcher's right hand man, and therefore should have appeared in the film.

Director Phyllida Lloyd has little sense of pacing, though there is the good effective directorial flourish, such as a nice transition where the old Thatcher imagines her son Mark running through the house and we follow him to end up in the 1960s. The film's one major saving grace is, need I say it, Meryl.  She is Thatcher.  She has it all; the walk, the voice, the mannerisms.  She's fantastic, and is helped greatly by some of the best aging makeup I've ever seen in the scenes where she is old.  When she delivers speeches, she has that hypnotic feel Thatcher had ; even if what she was saying made you angry, when she spoke, you listened.  Sadly Streep can only do so much with a character that, as depicted in the film, does not come across as a fully rounded human being.   Jim Broadbent doesn't really convince as Dennis and Alexandra Roach, while reasonable as the young Thatcher, is burdened by some especially clumsy scenes  near the beginning.  Olivia Colman is great as her daughter Carol, and various politicians of the Thatcher years drift in and out usually well played by the likes of Richard E.Grant and Michael Pennington; those well versed in the subject matter will know who they are, but few make much of an impression so I doubt those not in the know will care.  Thomas Newman's score is very fine indeed, musically supporting the emotions of the picture very well; he writes an especially strong, and very lengthy, piece for the Falklands War sequence, giving it some dramatic power that the repetitive images fail to do.  For the most part though, this is a major disappointment that smacks of compromise for the most part, and when it doesn't, is just downright morbid.   Then again, would you expect a good film from the director of Mamma Mia?
Rating:3.5/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 11/1/2012 3:37:50 PM >


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RE: Incredible Performance from Streep - 10/1/2012 1:20:17 PM   
losthighway


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Saw it yesterday afternoon...

It's a film that is neither one thing nor the other... political drama nor biopic. It attempts to emulate Iris in it's depiction of a woman suffering from dementia and remembering her past - and it even has Broadbent again to hammer home the point! In fact, the scenes of a younger Thatcher are actually the most interesting and yes it humanises Thatcher and misguidedly represents her as some kind of feminist icon but it skips through history far too quickly and never really decides what kind of film it's wanting to be. Much of the narrative is possibly trying to be a character study and we see an elderly, dementia-ridden Thatcher in her flat for much of the running time... and this is where the film really offends. Regardless of whether you agree with Thatcher's politics, basic humanity would dictate that an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer's should not be represented in such a way - and especially when she is still alive! To say that certain scenes leave a bad taste would be an understatement and the ending is appalling.

Having now seen it, I can see why the Tory-led papers are so disappointed and for those Labour supporters out there, believe me this is far from the Tory diatribe many are probably imagining! In fact, i'm not really sure what the point of the film is!? There is an interesting story to be made here but after Thatcher has passed and preferably by a more experienced director with a much much better screenplay!!

Overall: Streep for Oscar though... 1.5/5

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