Dec 02
2011

ABC Australia has published a trio of first scenes from “The Iron Lady”. All three clips can be watched in the video archive with thanks to Sapphire for the heads-up!

Dec 02
2011

Meryl Streep has received another nomination as Best Actress for “The Iron Lady”, this time for the International Press Academy’s Satellite Award. I have to say I’m still not sure (and have never been) what this award really is about or what impact it has since they honor film, television, dvd and video games altogether. In the best Actress category they’ve nominated ten people – Vera Farmiga, Michelle WIlliams, Emily Watson, Charlize Theron, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Olivia Colman, Michelle Yeoh and Elizabeth Olsen. The winners will be announced on December 18, 2011.

Dec 01
2011

The BBC has sat down with Meryl for a first television interview on the upcoming “The Iron Lady”, including quite a few new segments from the film. The interview can be watched in the video archive.

The film has drawn criticism from Baroness Thatcher’s former colleagues, including former Conservative party chairman Lord Tebbit. He called the performance “half-hysterical, over-emotional”. “I felt that if we did it in the right way, it would be OK,” Streep said. Speaking to the BBC’s Arts Editor Will Gompertz, the actress, who is expected to land her 17th Oscar nomination for the film said: “There is a feeling that the walls are just more permeable between the present and the past and one intrudes on the other. “It’s something that I don’t think there should be a stigma about, it’s life, it’s the truth. “We’ve all had that moment where you can’t remember why you went upstairs and so it was extrapolating that feeling of disorientation, momentary as it is,” Streep added.

Told in a series of flashbacks, the film sees an elderly Baroness Thatcher struggling with advanced dementia and in regular conversation with her late husband Denis Thatcher, played by Jim Broadbent. The rest of the film deals with her rise and eventual fall from power, and features scenes of her bullying her cabinet into submission. Writing in the Telegraph, Lord Tebbit said: “She could be hard – perhaps at times unfairly so – on colleagues who failed her standards. “She was never, in my experience, the half-hysterical, overemotional, overacting woman portrayed by Meryl Streep.” It is Streep’s performance as the older Baroness Thatcher which has already proved controversial. Former Conservative politician Michael Portillo, a junior minister under the then Mrs Thatcher, praised Streep but told the BBC that he “felt uncomfortable” about the scenes of her infirmity. “I wouldn’t want to see my own mother portrayed in that way,” he said. “I recognise it is a tremendous piece of art, but that will be a controversial feature of the film.” Referring Carol Thatcher’s book detailing her mother’s decline, Streep said: “Carol caught a lot of flak for speaking about this, but other people who have dementia in their family are grateful.”

Nov 30
2011

Here are two clips from ITN and CBS News covering the Washington D.C. premiere of “The Iron Lady”. Thanks to Simona for the heads-up on the first.

Nov 30
2011

Yesterday, Meryl Streep attended a screening for “The Iron Lady” in Washington D.C. Pictures can be found in the image library, a video interview can be seen here. The next event will take place tonight as Meryl is also set to attend the 21st Annual A Magical Evening Gala.

USA Today has posted an article on the screening: As a warm-up to her upcoming appearance in town as a Kennedy Center honoree this weekend, Meryl Streep swept into Washington, D.C., Tuesday night to show off her latest bid to add a third Oscar to her collection. Namely, her miraculous transformation into Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first and only female prime minister, in The Iron Lady. The bespectacled Streep was also accepting congratulations on her latest trophy, a best-actress award announced earlier in the day by the New York Film Critics Circle. She seemed genuinely surprised that she was picked by the respected group – “They’re so snobby!” – even though she has been a recipient three times before. “This is not a biopic,” the actress warned the packed audience before the feature directed by her Mamma Mia! maestro Phyllida Lloyd began. Instead, The Iron Lady presents an older Thatcher as she flashbacks to the highs and lows of her career while staving off dementia. “It’s a subjective look back,” Streep explained. As close to the truth as fiction will allow.” Streep then hoisted her pocketbook, comparing it to Thatcher’s sizable handbags “that used to terrorize her opponents.” She plucked out a couple pieces of paper and, much as Thatcher was wont to do, quoted words of wisdom from two other former prime ministers. First up, Lord Salisbury: “Many who think they are workers in politics are really merely tools” – an observation that earned several hearty chuckles. And then Benjamin Disraeli: “Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.”

Nov 29
2011

Fantastic news! Meryl has won the New York Film Critics Circle Award as Best Actress for “The Iron Lady”, as tweeted by the NYFCC. Congratulations! This is the first award of the season so I’d call it a good start :-) This is Meryl’s fifth Best Actress prize by the New York Film Critics Circle, she was awarded previously for Julie & Julia, A Cry in the Dark, Sophie’s Choice and Kramer vs. Kramer (and a runner-up for The Devil Wears Prada). According to the New York Post, Streep wired the field on the first and only ballot with 38 points to 24 for Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn) and 23 for Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia).

Nov 29
2011

A new batch of fantastic production stills from “The Iron Lady” has been added to the gallery while some others have been replaced by larger versions. Enjoy the new additions!

Nov 28
2011

Man thanks to Alvaro for sending in scans from the January issue of the UK Empire magazine, they’re running a “Tory Story” on “The Iron Lady”. The most interesting part of this article is that the film still isn’t ready yet – the one shown to the press and at screenings for now was an unfinished version. I guess they’re getting the final stitches just in time for its release. Scans can be found in the image library.

“There’s a flicker board of events really in the ’80s,” says screenwriter Abi Morgan. “You have that decade where she did everything. She stood up against the miners, against the IRA, she led us to war, led us out of war, she kicked us in the nuts, then redeemed us… My memories were very much of the handbag and the beautiful blue suit and the sense of the contradiction of the time: that there was so much sexism around, yet the country was being led by a woman. That made her a very intriguing figur.” It helps if you have an icon to play an icon, and here The Iron Lady has a golden girl to play a true blue: Meryl Streep. “You need a superstar to play Thatcher. You need someone of extraordinary magnetismn and charisma,” insists Phyllida Lloyd, who also points to Streep’s presence as an American in a very English story as an asset when shooting. “Meryl was an outsider, just as Thatcher was.”

Nov 27
2011

Live Magazine, a supplement of the Daily Mail has published a wonderful article on the making of “The Iron Lady” with many quotes from all of the filmmakers, giving insight on their views on Thatcher and the making of the film. All this is accompanied by stunning new pictures. An excerpt is below, the article can be read on their website and in the magazines archive.

“I worked on the voice. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done. The really tricky part was that she studied how to produce her voice di.fferently, and sustain a certain amount of public speaking, and deepen her voice, enrich it, support it with breath. So I had to get the two di.fferent voices – the one that she began with, which is quite light and sort of trips along, and then (imitates Thatcher’s older voice) suddenly this sort of authority comes out. I listened to her speaking, mostly, rather than watching her on TV. Listening gives you the posture, everything. I would speak anything – poetry, other people’s speeches – just to have it be second nature, to think in that voice, like another language.”

“I saw Margaret Thatcher once, in 2001, when my daughter Mamie was at Northwestern University. She was on a lecture tour. We were up in the balcony in the cheap seats. She was beautiful, and that was a shock, because we all thought of her in America as sort of dowdy. But we are very snobby about our women in public o.ffice. She was going to lecture for an hour, and there would be 30 minutes, precisely, for a question-and-answer session. She spoke for the hour and then she took questions for an hour and a half. And as time went on, she became even more enlivened and focused, speaking in beautifully wrought paragraphs. She obviously loved the subject matter: statesmanship and America’s role in the world and the special relationship with Reagan, the end of the Cold War. She was extraordinarily controlled and impressive. My view of her as a woman changed during this process. I admire her achievement. I stand in awe of it, even while not agreeing with a lot of the policies. The fact that she got things done, even though many people didn’t like her, was extraordinary. She accepted the fire that came at her and took it. I hope she’ll see the film as an empathetic attempt to understand the size of what her life was, her place in history, what she did, and the human cost we ask our leaders to pay.”

Nov 26
2011

The January issue of Total Film, on newsstands now, features a stunning new image of Meryl as Thatcher and an article on her Oscar chances. You can find a scan in the gallery, alongside a single version of the new picture. Speaking of magazines, Empire Magazine‘s January issue (also on newsstands now) has a behind-the-scenes story on the making of the film: Leading off with Oscar’s perennial Meryl Streep, an actress who probably has her own parking space at the Kodak Theater, we’d hesitate to call this bit a ’round-up’ unless it’s little gold statues we’re rounding up. If anyone has scanned Empire, please let me know :-)