An international trailer for the upcoming Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady has been released, and it presents itself as a stirring King's Speech (meets Evita?) style drama about a populist hero overcoming adversity. Wait. Are we talking about the same Margaret Thatcher here?
Meaning, isn't it strange that a bunch of showbiz liberals -- Meryl Streep, director Phyllida Lloyd, presumably pretty much everyone else -- have gone and made a straightforward rabble-rouser about the Lady Reagan? Obviously we are basing this read of the film pretty much solely on this brief clip, except look! The Conservative-approved tabloid The Daily Mail is totally in the tank for the film, even getting quotes from Streep about what a remarkable woman Thatcher is. So this is a positive film, and probably not one that ends with lingering shots of ravaged council estates. Kinda strange, huh? And it makes us wonder just who this movie is chiefly for.
If Ronald Reagan is many middle-aged conservatives' dad, then Margaret Thatcher is their feisty old aunt who told them to stand up straight. So a movie that glamorizes her rise to power and subsequent gutting of social programs and routing of unions, helping to create a substantial amount of very poor people, will be very exciting for them. It might also go some distancae toward convincing some that film isn't an entirely left-biased industry. If a Vassar and Yale-educated, New York-trained actress like Meryl Streep can find inspiration in Maggie and portray her in a movie with dignity and without any hint of a sneer, then maybe it's not so bad after all! If this movie is as rah-rah as it seems, this is going to be quite exciting for a particular groups of needy, all-the-cool-people-hate-us right wingers. Of course, there is substantially nothing cool about Margaret Thatcher, but Meryl Streep is still popular these days! So there, everyone else. Finally the movies take their side.