Cinemaniac: "The Iron Lady" disappoints

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Cinemaniac is a blog updated every week that reviews Netflix movies and movies in the theatre.

The Newtonite

by Jessica Tharaud
3 out of 5 stars 
When we first meet Margaret Thatcher, she isn’t giving a persuasive speech; she isn’t in a formative part of her early years or career; she isn’t even prime minister. When we first meet “The Iron Lady”’s Margaret Thatcher, she is buying milk. That opening scene sets the tone for the entire movie—a strange choice of scene to open a strange movie. This movie could have been great, especially with Meryl Streep as Thatcher, but unfortunately it falls flat.
Flashbacks of Thatcher’s life and career are interspersed with her as an old woman, ailing and lost in the past. While it is fascinating to see how this once-powerful prime minister deteriorated in her old age, it focused too much on that part of her life instead of her rise to power or her career. While I found the movie pleasant and informative overall, it focused too much on contrast.
The problem with this movie is that it takes such a hotly debated figure as its subject, yet leaves the viewer with images of a senile woman who used to be great. Constantly contrasting the young Thatcher with the old Thatcher sends a confused message, as does consistently showing her dissatisfaction with life overall.
Despite the issues of the overall structure of the plot, Meryl Streep as “The Iron Lady” was absolutely incredible. Streep played Thatcher perfectly, conveying her unwavering beliefs as prime minister and her obstinance and forgetfulness as an aging lady.
Overall, I would characterize the movie as a pretty good movie, but perhaps not as effective as it should or could be considering the subject matter.