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The Iron Lady

Somewhat hampered by its flashback riddled story structure, THE IRON LADY thrives whenever Meryl Streep's powerful performance as Margaret Thatcher is on screen.

Near the end of her days and sinking deeper into dementia, Thatcher is haunted by the ghost of her late husband Denis. He pops in and out of scenes, making breakfast, reading the paper and serving as a sounding board for her memories.

Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter, Moulin Rouge!) is a fine actor and he pairs well with Streep, but his appearances grow intrusive as the repetitive and constant window into the formative and historically important times that Thatcher served as Prime Minister.

Staunchly conservative, Thatcher was the UK doppelganger of Ronald Reagan and the 80's economic boom in America. Reagan is left almost completely out of the picture, as the story wisely focuses on the powerful rise and ultimate fade of Thatcher and her policies.

Regardless of how you feel about her politics, watching her stride resolutely into what, at that time, was an exclusively man's arena is inspiring. Streep is a brilliant casting choice, delivering an uncanny impersonation of Thatcher while fleshing her out with many under currents ranging from self doubt in her early years to callous impatience in her final days in office.

Streep won the Best Actress Oscar in 2011 for her role. Having studied film for months to learn Thatcher's speech and mannerisms, it's, by any measure, an excellent performance.

Alexandra Roach (Anna Karenina) is also good as a college age Thatcher, finding her way into politics and breaking down barriers.

The reliable Olivia Colman (Broadchurch, The Father) plays the elderly Thatcher's daughter Carol and Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) is terrific as Alfred Roberts.

Interesting when not dragged down by the story structure, THE IRON LADY is a beautifully made historical drama, loaded with talent that earns a B-.

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