Nov 26
2011

Here comes a first interview on “The Iron Lady” courtesy the British Express: Meryl Streep is the most nominated Oscar actress in Hollywood history. But even she was humbled by her latest role, playing former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. “She is like a heroine from Shakespeare,” she says. “I have held her up as an example to my three daughters of what women can do to change the world.” Streep, 62, who plays Baroness Thatcher, now 86, from her 40s to virtually the present day in a remarkable performance, became entranced by her character. Yet she admits that she knew little or nothing of her life or political policies. “What interested me more was the cost of her own political decisions on her, as a human being,” she says. “The more I researched, the more fascinated I became. When you are a leader and the buck stops with you what does that do to you and how do you stay strong? “I also realised how her policies split the nation. Some thought she was great. Others detested her for those policies. It was such a lonely job, especially for a woman.” Streep was a controversial choice, as an American, to play our Iron Lady. But British director Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Streep three years ago in Mamma Mia! says it was obvious to her. “Margaret Thatcher is the most significant female leader this country has had since Elizabeth I,” she says. “So I wanted the world’s most significant actress to play her.” Streep, though, who has captured the Thatcher voice and renowned grooming to perfection according to many who have already seen the film, has clearly fallen for her subject. The complete article can be read here.

Nov 26
2011

Article courtesy The Hollywood Reporter: Former colleagues and admirers of Margaret Thatcher have mocked Streep’s portrayal of the former British prime minister, but Phyllida Lloyd is unfazed. Less than two months ahead of The Iron Lady’s U.K. release, Meryl Streep’s portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is generating a growing furor among British conservatives bristling at what they consider an unflattering portrayal. Director Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) is unfazed by the uproar. “People have been arguing about her [Thatcher] for months and months,” Lloyd tells THR. “She certainly burns brightly as a still very divisive character.” The movie, made for an estimated $13 million, has been penciled in for a Dec. 30 U.S. release by the Weinstein Co., bowing in exclusive runs in New York and Los Angeles before going wide Jan. 13. It is scheduled to hit U.K. screens Jan. 6 via Pathe’s distribution pact with 20th Century Fox. Much of the opposition to the drama comes from Tory stalwarts and former cabinet ministers who served under Thatcher. None has seen the film, but the movie’s trailer – which mixes elements of gentle comedy with scenes of Thatcher’s personal and political life – was enough to set them off. The complete article can be read here.

Nov 17
2011

As the Hollywood Reporter writes today, Meryl Streep’s portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady is already attracting as much controversy as the life and work of Thatcher herself. Ever since the trailer and early screenings have been released, news outlets in the United Kingdom are bursting (or going nuts, that lies in the eye of the beholder) with either praise for Streep’s performance and/or criticism for the film itself. And it’s quite difficult to select who’s seen the film, or just the trailer, or none. The THR continues, as the movie is being widely touted – largely because of Streep’s involvement – as an awards season favorite on both sides of the Atlantic, largely sight unseen. Former cabinet member and Tory stalwart Norman Tebbit wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper that Thatcher was “never, in my experience, the half-hysterical, over-emotional, over-acting woman portrayed by Meryl Streep.” That just from the trailer currently showing here. The media screenings begin in earnest next week here but the Tory stalwarts poo-pooing the movie in the pages of the right-wing leaning national The Daily Telegraph are queuing up. Tim Bell, one of Thatcher’s key PR advisers, described the film as a “non-event” and said he had no interest in seeing it (which means, basically, that he hasn’t seen it). The typically left-leaning national broadsheet The Guardian said in its early notice for the film that Streep’s turn is “astonishing and all but flawless; a masterpice of mimicry which re-imagines Thatcher in all her half-forgotten glory.” I personally think that the outrage of any media is a welcome promotion for the film itself. Holding its trailer and screenings back for as long as possible has succeeded in making “The Iron Lady” the talk of the town.

Nov 15
2011

As “The Iron Lady” has been screened for journalists in the United Kingdom these past days, many outlets have published their first reviews, and here’s a summary. David Gritten at The Telegraph said: “Awards should be coming Streep’s way; yet her brilliance rather overshadows the film itself.” The Guardian Xan Brooks said Streep’s performance “is astonishing and all but flawless”. He added: “Yet Streep, it transpires, is the one great weapon of this often silly and suspect picture.” The Daily Mail also praised Streep’s portrayal. Critic Baz Bamigboye wrote: “Only an actress of Streep’s stature could possibly capture Thatcher’s essence and bring it to the screen. The film follows Baroness Thatcher from her early years breaking through class and gender barriers to become prime minister to her political downfall in 1990. The Thatcher era from 1979 to 1990, was a time of social and economic change for Britain. Elected following a period of widespread strikes, dubbed the winter of discontent, Lady Thatcher and her Conservative government embarked on tough reforms to tackle inflation and the trade unions. Her policies divided the country – seeing a boom in the service sector and home ownership but a decline in manufacturing and soaring unemployment.

Nov 14
2011

Added the just unveiled UK poster for “The Iron Lady” as well as captures from the trailer to the gallery.

Nov 14
2011

Lots of “Iron Lady” news today. This morning, Meryl and director Phyllida Lloyd attended a photocall in London to unveil the film’s poster and promote its January 2012 release. Lots of pictures have been added to the gallery.

Nov 14
2011

This is the day we’ve all been waiting for all year, haven’t we? The UK theatrical trailer for “The Iron Lady” has been released today, offering more than just a glimpse of Meryl playing Britain’s first female Prime Minister. The full trailer has been added to the video archive.

Nov 14
2011

In probably the first article that introduces her as “Left-wing star Meryl Streep”, the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye has all the insight on the upcoming “The Iron Lady”: Many feared the worst when they heard Meryl Streep was to play Margaret Thatcher in a new film. Not only was Baroness Thatcher to be cast as a rather befuddled, elderly woman looking back on the triumphs and disappointments of her life, but Streep is also of a very different political hue from Maggie. It was commonly agreed that our greatest Prime Minister since Churchill would be vilified. Such fears are misplaced. Having just seen the film in a London preview before its release in January, and then having spoken at length to Meryl Streep about her role in The Iron Lady, I can state categorically that the doomsayers were wrong. Streep’s portrayal will, I have no doubt, come to be seen as magnificent portrait of Lady Thatcher. And when I spoke exclusively to the double Oscar-winning actress about playing her, she declared herself to be in ‘awe’ of Lady T, adding that this was the biggest role she had undertaken in her career. ‘It took a lot out of me, but it was a privilege to play her, it really was,’ she told me. ‘It was one of those rare, rare films where I was grateful to be an actor and grateful for the privilege of being able to look at a life deeply with empathy. There’s no greater joy.’ The 62-year-old star, who was in London to see the completed film, explained how she admired Thatcher’s willingness to stand and be leader, a decision which meant she had to offer her life, and her family’s, ‘on an altar’ to the public good. The complete article can be read here.

Nov 12
2011

Article courtesy Variety: Awards speculation is a given when two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep is front and center of a prestige project, and with her tackling formidable British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, topping this movie’s potential kudos pyramid will likely be the celebrated thesp’s 17th Oscar nomination. If the movie scores as a portrait of parliamentary power and female resolve against a longstanding political boys’ club, look for supporting nods as well for previous nominee Jim Broadbent (“Iris”) as husband Denis, and possibly Anthony Head as Thatcher’s deputy prime minister Geoffrey Howe.

The hottest name outside of Streep could be U.K. scribe Abi Morgan (original screenplay), who is also getting attention from the Steve McQueen-directed awards hopeful “Shame,” which she co-penned. Director Phyllida Lloyd, meanwhile, is coming off the musical fluffball “Mamma Mia!” — the kind of Streep vehicle that doesn’t get nominations – so entering the directors’ circle will be an uphill battle unless the film is both a critical and box office hit, the way previously recognized U.K. biopics (and Academy fodder) “The Queen” and “The King’s Speech” were for Stephen Frears and Tom Hooper, respectively. On the tech side, “The Queen” costume design nominee Consalata Boyle is a factor, while the talented “Twilight” d.p. Elliot Davis could be on board for his first cinematography nomination.

Nov 10
2011

And another new production still from “The Iron Lady” courtesy the New York Times’ Holiday Movies preview. Thanks to Ari for the heads-up!