Monday 16 January 2012

Iron Lady

I gather from this morning's news that Meryl Streep has won a golden globe (whatever that is) for her performance in this film.

Whatever you may think of her performance (and it was undeniably brilliant), having seen the flim, I don't think it should have been made at all. I won't say what my views on Thatcher are (they're irrelevant to this post), but to portray someone in crumbling old age and dementia - pathetic, confused, and haunted by images of her dead husband - while she is still alive, seems to me desperately cruel and inappropriate. Watching this film, I felt as though I were spying on somone when I shouldn't have been there at all; voyeuristic and very uncomfortable. Thatcher is/was a dignified and quite private figure. To exploit her privacy when (presumably)she is no longer able to give or withhold permission, for commercial purposes (and films are commercial, whatever the film-maker may say) is, I think, totally unethical. I really hope this film doesn't go on to win more accolades and further exploit its subject.

There. I feel much better now. I shall now go off and see that bloody horse.


  1. Frances - I haven't seen the film yet and only recently realised the perspective of the story. I certainly don't relish watching it now, no matter how good an actress we all know Meryl Streep to be.

  2. I haven't seen this film but, in view of your comments, I don't think I want to.
    I felt great sympathy for Mrs Thatcher during the TV coverage of her leaving No 10 visibly upset but, I thought, handling it bravely and with dignity.
    This is how it should have been left. No-one deserves to be portrayed as you describe.

  3. When I first heard that a film had been made about Margaret Thatcher, I imagined it (foolishly, I know) to be a bit like "The Queen" with Helen Mirren. But from what you say here, I definitely do not want to see it.
    The last line of your post makes me hope there will be another installment of The Horse Diaries soon!

  4. I don't particularly want to see it now either after what you've said, Frances. However I bet you anything you like that Meryl Streep will pop up again as best actress

  5. I agree with you, Frances. I saw the film and thought Meryl Streep's performance was remarkable, but I felt very uncomfortable and couldn't work out why the film had been made in Margaret Thatcher's lifetime.
    I am not a fan of her, but I believe no living person should be the subject of a film like this.
    It was also disappointing that so much of the film depicted her descent into senility. I would have preferred to see much more footage of the historical events that marked her years in power and far more of the relationships she had with fellow-politicians. The Brighton bomb incident was dealt with almost in passing, for example. Oddly, there were some stirring and promising moments in the trailers that didn't feature in the actual film.

    All in all, it was only Meryl Streep's brilliance that kept me hooked and watching to the end. But it was certainly a disturbing experience.

  6. Frankly, I'm surprised Streep was willing to take the part. But maybe it was just to rich a role for a brilliant actress to resist.


  7. Haven't seen it but I'm sure Meryl will be excellent as always but there's something not right about the subject matter.

  8. Mark Kermode - whose film show on Radio Five Live I am a huge fan of - said similar things. His take was - 'this isn't a film about a politician, it's a film about old age, being left lonely and alone after a successful life and I don't see why it had to be about Margaret Thatcher'.
    I was put off seeing the film by his review (can't cope with sad films...) and this has confirmed that I don't want to see it. And I speak as a confirmed Meryl Streep fan.

  9. Rosemary, Meryl Streep's performance is the redeeming feature, but I do wonder at her taking on a part that so diminishes the subject.

    Gail, I agree.

    Thanks, Lirarian. And yes. the horse still seems to be around. Funny, that...(BTW have tried - and failed - to leave a comment on your blog. Problems?)

    Rosamund, I suspect thtat you're right.

    Joanna, I'm glad you agree.

    Sue, I spsect it's hard to resist a big-budget high-profile film, but I wish that she had.

    Colette, the film (I found) was actually quite boring, Streep apart!

    Alis, the film was not so much sad (though it was) as thoroughly uncomfortable. I'm glad I saw it as I can now hold an informed discussion (or waste more time blogging!), but I never want to see it again. (I'm a MS fan too, especially in Kramer versus Kramer.)