365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 139

Release Year: 2011

Oscar Wins:

Best Actress

Best Makeup



An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

“The Iron Lady” begins with an aged and frail Maggie buying milk in her local newsagent. We slowly discover that she has escaped from her care worker for the morning; we learn that she still sees and talks to her long dead husband, Denis; we learn that she is often confused and dazed and is now looking back over her life. This is the story of Thatcher’s personal life, from being inspired by her father to her meeting the young Denis Thatcher, from her early ambitions to be a force of change in the world to her ultimate disappointment with those around her.

Thatcher herself is adamant during one of her fights with her husband that he always knew she puts her works first and yet, the film tries to focus on her private life issues, again, by means of sheer guesswork. Why? The only explanation is ideological spin, since the creators try to present the old and rather frail former prime minister as sad, doubting her past, and in some scenes she is even insecure not only as an old, senile lady, wandering around her digs, but also during her prime time, as a head of government. Priceless screening time is wasted while none of the issues she had to deal with is presented with any depth whatsoever.

Occasionally, the film is reduced to a vaudeville, as in the scene where she is about to enter her No.10 residence for the first time as a PM or employs one-dimensional clichés, such as the symbolism of Thatcher talking about ‘taking the wheel in her own hands’ and then pushing the car to the right, while her daughter is in the driving seat. What is the purpose of this demented symbolism? No matter how unwashed the masses are, they can still figure that this film is about a confident, self-made woman who takes matters in her own hands and pushes her country to the right.

The Blu-Ray comes with a DVD and Digital Copy. The 1080p transfer is pretty sharp, but the DTS-HD 5.1 master audio levels seemed off when given to quiet scenes of dialogue. The featurettes work for the most part, but even those are stilted history as we try to understand who Margaret was. The only featurette that contained a shred of real history was the warmhearted look at the real Denis Thatcher. But, I guess they had to sacrifice accuracy for a lengthier investigation of Margaret’s wardrobe. In the end, I’d only recommend a purchase to Oscar buffs and fans of pseudo history.

RELEASE DATE: 04/10/2012

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