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The Iron Lady

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charliechaplinfan
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The Iron Lady

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 16th, 2012, 1:46 pm

Here I am with my British sensibilites, shaking my head in dismay that this movie made it to the screen. Not because I'm overly fond of Mrs Thatcher, I'm too young to remember her earlier years and only of an age to start taking an interest when she dissappeared from the political scene. Of course there has been a lot said about this movie in the press, none of it good.

Is it a film about Alzheimers or is it a film about a British Primeminister or is it both? Which ever it is I can't help but feeling it's quite mean of the film makers to pick a living person as a subject for this kind of film. Perhaps they feel that someone who has Alzheimers is unable to retain a sense of dignity anymore and as such she's fair game. On my moral barometer it just doesn't feel right.

To make me sound even more irrational I find myself feeling really dissappointed by Meryl Streep, an actress I've previously liked, for portraying her. I've said to myself what actress would turn down the chance to play such a character as Mrs Thatcher, trying to rationalise it but even so, I feel kind of miffed at her.

In my defence, I never watched The Queen because of a similar discomfort but I wasn't dismayed about it. There's plenty of people have an axe to grind about Mrs Thatcher, she's probably the most controversial politician of the twentieth century but still, I think it's wrong but as I'll never go and see the movie perhaps someone else can sweeten the pill for me.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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JackFavell
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby JackFavell » January 16th, 2012, 2:41 pm

I haven't seen the movie, but I do understand your feelings. It is a bit pushing to make this movie while she is still alive and suffering from the disease, I can only hope that they are evenhanded in their portrayal.

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CineMaven
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby CineMaven » January 16th, 2012, 8:01 pm

My friend and I went to see "THE IRON LADY" on Friday. We didn't know what to expect; just Meryl Streep and some crib notes about Thatcher's time in office. You know, an abridged version of history since I'm too lazy for current events.

When the movie ended we looked at each other and said "Wow!" I told my friend, "That is an Academy Award performance."

Now I'm sure the filmmakers probably thrashed around HOW the film was to be told: linearly or jumping around. Old cinema buff that I am...I don't mind starting at life's beginning and going to its end. But I can go with whatever way the filmmaker wants to go. They jumped around a lot with this. We start off with Thatcher today, in the throes of Alzheimer's and jumped to her as a girl in the Blitz during the war. And then we see her as Meryl Streep. It was quite interesting the way they chose to unfold the story. I got the idea of her strength...of her being alone, the ONLY woman...the first woman. A woman of convictions, a woman who was fearless...a woman who wrote to all the families who lost their sons in the fight for the Falklands. A woman who gained strength from her husband, and from her father who believed in her. She was a woman confused and lost; we're allowed to see what it must look like to have Alzheimer's. And to see a woman as bright and brilliant as Ms. Thatcher, also not exempt from her mind being stricken.

I kept trying to find Meryl Streep within the makeup and vocal inflections and gait. It was very very difficult. She immersed herself. It felt to me...to my friend and I, that the filmmakers took an even-handed approach; to show the facts...to show her past and her present. My friend had previously read reviews of the film. Critics liked Streep but panned the film. My friend also read that Thatcher's daughter wanted the Alzheimer's shown. I read nothing about the film. I almost would not have even seen the movie had my friend not suggested it. I didn't have any expectations other than ("oooh, the folks England are going to be right pissed that an American is going to play this part"). As a general rule, I rather see nationalities and ethnicities played by the nationality and ethnicity. I can't imagine Robert Downey Jr. being Sherlock Holmes or Rene Zellwegger being Brigit Jones and I'm sure folks had to wrap their mind around the fact of a British actress playing one of the premier women roles in literature or movie history when Vivien Leigh played Scarlett O'Hara.

In the broadest general sense, I'm opposed to that sort of casting decision. But I know Hollywood. They feel they need a BIG NAME to SELL a film, than trust in the acting. Ugh! Ohhhhkay. But not really knowing the background of the "making of..." I just went in hoping to be able to be grown-up enough to keep up with the story. You may never go and see this film. And that's okay. I'm glad I did. I didn't get the sense that the filmmakers were trying to put down or exploit a mind-damaged Ms. Thatcher. I found myself being riveted by Meryl Streep; And I found myself being riveted by Margaret Thatcher...her power and strength and vulnerability.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 17th, 2012, 1:13 pm

I take heart by what you say because I am unlikely to go and see the film but it has given you a good impression about what Mrs Thatcher was like, her strength and compassion and her vulnerabilities. Do you notice I say 'mrs' I would never say Mr Cameron but there was something about her that elicited that kind of respect and she was from the era of my childhood where we would never call one of our parent's friends by their first name, it was either Mrs or Auntie.

I haven't seen any criticism about the role going to Meryl Streep, only about the decision to include the Alzheimer's disease, her story is enough to warrant a film and a film that was produced on your side of Atlantic is likely to be friendlier to her than one produced here. It's the Alzheimer's that annoys me and the fact that this movie is not going to go away, Meryl Streep probably will get the Oscar for it giving this kind of story more credability. Mrs Thatcher's children are hardly a big presence in her life, anything recommended by Carole should have been taken with a pinch of salt, coming from such parentage she's a real lightweight.

It's my British sensibilities but I still think it's a pity they couldn't have waited until she had departed the earth.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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CineMaven
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby CineMaven » January 17th, 2012, 1:42 pm

Hi there...I wanted to be sure I was sensitive to the sensibilities of you good people across the pond. (Sorry for the "Ms." instead of the "Mrs. Thatcher). I take from what you say that Mrs. Thatcher's children aren't in her life. That's a pity. Would it be safe to say that in her pursuit of her career, she left her kids by the wayside? If Streep does win an Academy Award, the film will really not go away, though I thought Glenn Close did such a remarkable job playing the lead in her latest film "Albert Nobbes." Seems like there's a tacit rivalry between Dames Streep and Close; or maybe it's something manufactured by the industry.

The Alzheimer's is a sticky wicket. But perhaps it might shine some (more) light on this horrible disease if it's shown that one of the most influential and dynamic women of the world like Mrs. Thatcher suffers from it.

On one different note now that I have you here, can you tell me what's playing in the movie theatres right now in England. Even if it's nothing that we have over here yet...what's popular in your cinema...your local multiplex.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 17th, 2012, 2:34 pm

Don't worry I thought you were very respectful of my English sensibilities :wink: I think Alzheimers or dementia is very much an illness that needs to be brought to the forefront of our consciousness, I'm just not sure it should be a living person. However if something is achieved in this field of medicine or awareness because of the film, then I have a reason to quit crabbing.

Our cinemas at the moment

The Iron Lady
War Horse
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Haywire
The Darkest Hour
Sherlock Holmes
Puss in Boots
Monte Carlo
Anonymous
Chipwrecked - Alvin and the Chipmunks
Goon
J Edgar
Mission Impossible
The Guard
The Sitter

and no

The Artist.

I'm miffed about that :cry:
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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CineMaven
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby CineMaven » January 17th, 2012, 3:55 pm

I think I can wait on "The Artist." It's not striking my fancy. A friend's comment scared me off forever. I see a lot of American films on your list. Are more American films screened than British made films?
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 17th, 2012, 4:25 pm

Yes, many more American movies than British. I don't go to the movies an awful lot, there's the kids but I didn't really go much beforehand, it's expensive but mainly I'm not that into modern movies. Guess I'm an old fashioned kind of gal.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

RedRiver
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby RedRiver » January 17th, 2012, 5:45 pm

I'm so embarassed. I didn't know the lady suffered from Alzheimer's. I should read the paper once in a while! I know nothing about the movie. But when I saw the previews, I was intrigued. Thought it looked good.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby CineMaven » January 17th, 2012, 6:02 pm

CHARLES BOYER says...
Image
"I LOVE OLD-FASHIONED KIND OF GALS!"
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 20th, 2012, 2:50 pm

Ha, I love that, I've just come out of hospital a trip I hadn't planned on makng but I'm back now and pleased as punch with Mr Boyer and your kind thoughts for posting it :D
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

stuart.uk
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby stuart.uk » January 21st, 2012, 1:55 pm

Patrica Hodge was a brilliant Thatcher, in a tv movie about The Falklands War called The Falklands Play. I did wonder if she might have been a better choice for a movie rather than Streep.

I haven't seen the Iron Lady, but I don't recall Maggie ever wearing a hat at Prime Minister's Question Time. The film has provoked a lot of anger in Scotland, who remember her as P.M to treated Scottish people badly. She introduced the poll tax in Scotland a yr before everyone else in the UK and when it was clear how unpopular it was she changed her mind, angering Scotish MPs, representing people forced to pay the tax. Thatcher is also credited for the Conseratives poor showing in Scotland since she came to power, as the Tory's at one time was the main party North of the border.

As The Iron Lady has been made I would would encourage film makers in the UK to make The Barbara Castle Story with Miranda Richardson reprising her superb performance as BC in Made In Dagenham. Before Margaret Thatcher came along Barbara Castle was the most successful woman polititian in British politics. In recent yrs there has been Mo Mowlam, played so brilliantly by Julie Walters in Mo and the current Home Secretary Teressa May, but no woman in the wings looking to be P.M. However, in Scotland SNP deputy leader Nichola Sturgeon if Independance comes could become Scotland's first Minister in time

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 21st, 2012, 1:59 pm

Nichola Sturgeon comes across as very prickly on TV, maybe it's my English based TV and newspapers but even with this in mind she seems a tad humourless.

A more interesting question is whether Scotland will split from the union. What do you think Stuart, I tend to think not, not if it's only down to Scottish voters. I wouldn't like to call it though, it will be interesting.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

stuart.uk
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby stuart.uk » January 21st, 2012, 3:25 pm

At the risk of being sexist I think Sturgeon is one the U.Ks most attractive female polititians.

Alison, I tend to agree, but Alec Salmond seems to be hedging is bets by having 2 seperate votes, one for full independance and another which might be more appealing, where we'd remain as part of the UK as regards security with the armed forces, but getting more powers given to Scotland. The other worry is that the current goverment might with their policies might annoy the Scottish people and end up telling them to get stuffed. I've also heard that some folk in England want rid of Scotland as part of the UK, which is a pity

I don't know if you're getting any hint of the controversey as regarding the team G.B football team. The S.F.A are against Scottish players taking part, but the players themselves are keen. Former player Alan Brazil has said Scottish players should get a suspension if they play for G.B. The main worry is the world governing body might insist on a G.B team in the World Cup, but IMO ifthe 4 nations are given security, then the players should be allowed to play for G.B. After in Rugby we have the British Lions going on tour, while the 4 nations compete seperately. Before both our times it was regarded as an honour to play for a G.B football team back in the 40s and 50s. In the 40s Derby and future Dundee player Billy Steel and Liverpool's Billy Liddle were Scot's in that G.B team

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Iron Lady

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 22nd, 2012, 8:44 am

I think if the English were given the vote there is a high chance that they would vote Scotland out of the union which would be a pity. There is a bias towards Scotland in our government which is that Scottish MPs can vote on matters that involve the English but the English MPs can vote the other way around. I don't think the vote will ever be given to the English because it's not up to us to vote Scotalnd out of the union, that's not the done thing but Ithink there is a feeling of having the vote and see what the response is, like with PR last year and then put the matter to bed for a few years. Interestingly if Scotland voted itself out, no Scottish Mps would sit at Westminister and it would make the then union more Tory biased.

Footballers are probably one of the my least favourite group of people, why should it be an Olympic sport anyhow? As long as it is I think they players should have national pride enough to play if they are picked and serve their nation for once instead of lining their own back pockets. All I have heard that Beckham wants to captain the team.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin


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