Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Real Story: Margaret Thatcher and ‘The Iron Lady’

posted by Nell Minow

Meryl Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher in this week’s release, “The Iron Lady.”  Thatcher, the first woman Prime Minister of the UK, was one of the foremost political figures of the 20th century.  While her close ally Ronald Reagan brought a new era of conservatism to the United States, Thatcher did the same in the UK with still-controversial fundamental changes that made her a polarizing figure.

YouTube Preview Image

Streep and director Phyllida Lloyd have insisted in interviews that “The Iron Lady” is not a biopic. It departs from the usual format for stories of real-life historical and culture figures with selected personal events that are portrayed as triggers or inspiration for the character’s good and bad choices followed by re-enactment of well-known turning points: the character amazing people with his/her ability and drive, personal and professional set-backs and triumphs. Similar to “J. Edgar,” released just a few months before, it is a more impressionistic exploration of what Thatcher’s thoughts might be as she looks back, the moments of pride and her regrets, based on part on A Swim-On Part in the Goldfish Bowl by her daughter Carol Thatcher. Streep said in an interview:

“It’s a very subjective look at a very big life, but it is a look back from the waning edge of power. It’s a look back at power from the point of view of powerlessness. It is a very selective look at certain challenges that an old lady remembers based on the challenges that she faces in her daily life.”

Thatcher was born Margaret Roberts in Grantham, Lincolnshire in 1925, the daughter of a grocer who was involved in local politics. She studied chemistry at Oxford and then became a barrister (lawyer). She was first elected to office in 1959. Her early political positions supported lower taxes, capital punishment, decriminalization of homosexuality, and legalized abortion. She served in cabinet positions, became the head of the Conservative Party, and, after she led them to victory, became the Prime Minister from 1979-90. She lowered taxes and decreased government spending, supported privatization of government services and property (raising £37 billion), and limiting the power of unions.  As shown in the movie, one of the key defining moments of her tenure was her response to the Argentine invasion of the British-controlled Falkland Islands in 1982.  Thatcher responded by sending a naval task force to engaged in armed combat, resulting in a surrender by Argentine forces after 74 days.

Some of her best-remembered quotes:

Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State.

Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.

Defeat? I do not recognise the meaning of the word.

The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.

Ronald Reagan called her “the best man in England” and she called him “the second most important man in my life.”  A 2011 poll named her the most competent Prime Minister of the past three decades.

Now frail following several strokes and struggling with memory loss, the Baroness Thatcher seldom attends public events.

 

 

For more information:

 

 

More “The Real Story” posts:

We Bought a Zoo

Unstoppable

Soul Surfer

Sanctum



Previous Posts

Interview: Daniel Schechter, Writer/Director of "Life of Crime"
Newcomer Daniel Schechter, who wrote one of my favorite neglected gems, The Big Bad Swim, worked with an all-star cast in "Life of Crime," which he adapted from The Switch by Elmore Leonard and directed.  It is set in 1970's Detroit and it is the story of a woman played by Jennifer Aniston who i

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

The November Man
Pierce Brosnan knows what it is like to play a spy in a big-budget, glamorous, blockbuster. He was the most urbane of Bonds in four movies. He knows what it is to play a seedier spy in a prestige, mildly meta movie, the 2001 film "The Tailor of Panama" (with Daniel Radcliffe in a pre-Potter role). S

posted 10:57:58am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Thunder and the House of Magic
"Thunder and the House of Magic" opens September 5, 2014. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6VKG3lZEIg[/youtube]

posted 8:00:02am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Anatomy of Every Movie Ever
This is hilarious and, I have to say, accurate.  Thank you, John Atkinson of Wrong Hands!

posted 3:59:37pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Cozi Zuehlsdorff's New Song for "Dolphin Tale 2" -- "Brave Souls"
I'm really looking forward to "Dolphin Tale 2," even more so after seeing this music video by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the young actress who reprises her role as Hazel from the original film. Cozi’s song, which she wrote and performs herself, is called “Brave Souls” and in this video she explains how

posted 12:23:08pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.