The Iron Lady

The Iron Lady

Phyllida Lloyd (2011)

12A Certificate


Our Score
While BBC4's The Long Walk to Finchley dramatised ten years in the young life of future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd here bravely tackles the whole thing, told in smash-and-grab flashbacks from Lady Thatcher's amnesiac dotage. Meryl Streep, with disarming conviction and entertaining panache, plays her at various stages of adult life, and is gregariously supported by Jim Broadbent as the ghost of her late husband Denis. This could, in the hands of talented screenwriter Abi Morgan (TV's The Hour), have been a fascinating chamber piece about love in old age. Instead, while dutifully ticking off the key historical events - the Falklands, the miners, the Brighton bombing, etc - the movie fails to find purchase on any broader motivation, beyond that of quasi-feminist megalomania. Beyond the fun of playing spot the MP (and spot the character actor), it lacks the focus of a comparable biopic such as The Queen. Without the Oscar-winning Streep, it's just high-quality biographical karaoke.


The elderly Margaret Thatcher, now living in seclusion, tries to come to terms with the death of her husband Denis, bringing back memories of her controversial political career. She reflects on her rise to power in the male-dominated Conservative Party and the tumultuous events during her time in office. Biopic, starring an Oscar-winning Meryl Streep. With Jim Broadbent and Olivia Colman.

Cast & Crew

Margaret Thatcher Meryl Streep
Denis Thatcher Jim Broadbent
Carol Thatcher Olivia Colman
Young Margaret Thatcher Alexandra Roach
Young Denis Harry Lloyd
Geoffrey Howe Anthony Head
Michael Heseltine Richard E Grant
Gordon Reece Roger Allam
Michael Foot Michael Pennington
Director Phyllida Lloyd
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Fox / PatheGuidance: Some violence, brief nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 6 Jan 2012