Nov 07
2011

Variety has posted an article on the current films vying for Oscar glory that are based on real events or real people, including, of course, “The Iron Lady”. In the case of some films this year, they know the subjects – and don’t like them. That’s a problem shared by “The Iron Lady,” helmer Phyllida Lloyd’s story of Margaret Thatcher starring Meryl Streep, and “J. Edgar,” Clint Eastwood’s film about longtime FBI honcho J. Edgar Hoover, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Both have addressed the problem of long, politically charged lives by focusing on only a part of the story, and – in the case of “Iron Lady” – telling the tale from its subject’s p.o.v. “This story is not an objective biopic,” Lloyd says of her film. “The story is all told from Margaret Thatcher’s point of view and it’s an imagined story of how it might it have felt to be the first female leader in the western world.” She and screenwriter Abi Morgan tried to be extremely rigorous about the facts “but necessarily, there’s some compression of time and one or two places where in order to make the story clear we’ve taken something out. “On the whole,” Lloyd says, “we’re not nervous about being shot down in flames for our facts. We might be for the imagined part of the story.”

Nov 07
2011

News courtesy Deadline. Although many places list her Margaret Thatcher biopic, The Iron Lady as a Dec 16th release, The Weinstein Company has decided it is best to keep us waiting a little longer so the official opening date for the movie that co-stars Jim Broadbent and is directed by Phyllida Lloyd is now December 30th in a limited platform release with a wider break to come in January to cash in on those expected Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. At research screenings Streep reportedly got the highest test numbers Harvey Weinstein has ever seen. Between Meryl and Michelle playing Margaret and Marilyn , Harvey is holding a hot hand in this year’s Best Actress contest. Streep has also been announced as one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors which will be awarded on December 4th and air on CBS on December 27th, the same day Oscar nominating ballots are mailed. Timing is everything.

Nov 04
2011

The Los Angeles Times features “The Iron Lady” in its 2011 Holiday Movie Sneak, with a brand new production still from the film. This biopic presents a portrait of Margaret Thatcher, the only woman to be prime minister of the United Kingdom. With Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd and Alexandra Roach. Written by Abi Morgan. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Weinstein Co.

Oct 28
2011

While scans from the Vanity Fair article “Maggie Mia” have been posted already (see here), their website has now published the article as well, with a better quality version of the stunning promotional picture you’ll find below.

Is the world dying for a Margaret Thatcher biopic? Probably no more than it’s dying for Harold Wilson or John Major biopics, the dramatic possibilities of the Falklands War notwithstanding. But wait. A Margaret Thatcher biopic starring Meryl Streep? That’s P.M.-tainment! How she wrested the part from one Dame or another remains a mystery whose solution is known only to the actress and her director; we’re just thrilled she got her mitts on it. (And now America is finally even for Vivien Leigh playing Scarlett O’Hara.) Did we mention that we love Meryl Streep? Love-love-LOVE her? That there’s literally no other performer we’d rather see on-screen? Even Jessica Alba? Streep, over the last decade, has evolved from being the Greatest Actress of Her Generation to also being the slyest and wittiest and lightest afoot, ventilating the von Sydow heaviness of her younger roles with a bit of Astaire fresh air. Limited footage available from The Iron Lady suggests Streep’s Thatcher will fit somewhere between the poles of her Julia Child and her Miranda Priestly—a Tory leader who can debone Labour M.P.’s as if they were whole chickens, or stiffen wobbly American presidents with a witheringly arched eyebrow, and yet never lose sight of her inner Python housewife. The director is Phyllida Lloyd, who three years ago put Streep at the center of the 21st century’s finest movie musical: Mamma Mia! (Seriously. You can have Chicago and Dream Girls, though we’ll keep Hairspray too.) Along for the ride, Jim Broadbent will risk being ahistorically interesting as Denis Thatcher. Did we mention that we love Meryl Streep?

Oct 23
2011

Many thanks to Julie for passing the following information to me. November 16th, 2011 will mark the official opening of the first U.S.-China Forum on The Arts and Culture in Beijing. This four-day event will involve the participation of an extraordinary line-up of American cultural icons, including Meryl Streep, film director Joel Coen, musician Yo-Yo Ma, among others, who will engage in dialogue and perform with their Chinese counterparts. A special screening of “The Iron Lady” will be held on Nov. 19, 2011 at 7:30pm local time, in the National Museum of China, with a follow-up discussion after the screening.

Oct 21
2011

The Daily Telegraph has an update on the post-production of “The Iron Lady”, inclduing a new still from the film. Meryl Streep, portraying Margaret Thatcher, is wearing a wig of what looks like beautifully coiffed, blonde razor wire. She purses her lips, and casts a steely glare around her Cabinet. It’s a moment that demonstrates her dominance of her ministers. At least that’s the idea, in this exclusive shot taken from the film The Iron Lady, which goes on release here on January 6. On her left sits Anthony Head, tasked with playing Geoffrey Howe (who was Foreign Secretary in this scene).

Seated next to Howe is actor Andrew Havill, playing Tom King, who held a variety of portfolios from Employment to Northern Ireland, during Mrs Thatcher’s Downing Street reign. On the premier’s right is a blurred vision of Michael Elwyn as Michael Howard, then the Local Government Minister. And all on his lonesome in the inset picture is Richard E. Grant as Michael Heseltine. Plotting, no doubt. Director Phyllida Lloyd is still in post production, refining and editing her cut of the picture. Over the summer, Meryl did some voice work on the film and fine-tuned a speech or two. Many of the speeches and statements heard in the film won’t be exact records of what was spoken in the Houses of Parliament, on the steps of No 10 or other famous locations – although they will reflect the flavour of what Mrs Thatcher and other major players said.

This was done for a variety of reasons, including copyright, but also so producers didn’t have to seek anyone’s approval for use of their words. Abi Morgan, who penned the screenplay, is a skilled writer and from the bits of footage I have seen it would appear the words put into the mouths of the real-life characters are close to what was actually uttered. In any event, the movie isn’t a documentary on the Thatcher years. It’s an exploration of one remarkable woman’s ambition, and how she hand-bagged her way to success in what is still regarded as a man’s world. ‘It’s also about the price she paid,’ producer Damian Jones told me a while back.

Oct 08
2011

With many thanks to Alvaro, scans from the November 2011 issue of Vanity Fair have been added to the gallery. While I was expecting a bigger article, they have a half page on the upcoming “The Iron Lady” with two new stills from the film.

Oct 06
2011

Olivia Colman was relieved Meryl Streep wore prosthetics on the set of their new film about former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – because it made it easier to forget that she was working with the Oscar-winning star. Colman plays Carol Thatcher in the movie, The Iron Lady, which stars Jim Broadbent as her father Denis Thatcher and Meryl as her mother, Britain’s first female prime minister. Olivia told Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour: “I couldn’t quite believe I was in the same room or city as Meryl Streep. I was quite grateful that she was covered in prosthetics so she didn’t quite look like her, otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to function at all.” Olivia said Meryl perfected the voice of the former Tory leader, adding: “It’s spooky, its proper spine-chilling spooky, it’s brilliant.” Even though she thought she would turn “to jelly” while working with the actress, she said: “Within moments I forgot that she was stratospherically wonderful…she’s a funny woman, who is very close to giggles at all times.

“She’s got nothing to prove so there’s no ego, she was lovely to be around.” The Rev star did not meet Carol Thatcher before playing the role. She said that she was “not an impressionist” but that the trick to sounding like her was “weak Rs”. Olivia, who is also filming the role of Queen Elizabeth in Hyde Park On Hudson, the movie starring Bill Murray and Laura Linney, said of her future: “I hope to work until I can’t stand any more.”

Oct 06
2011

Exiting news! The November issue of Vanity Fair features a pictorial by Brigitte Lacombe on the shooting of “The Iron Lady”. It’ll be on newsstands in New York and L.A. on October 4, and nationally and on the iPad October 11.

Sep 23
2011

Here’s the official poster for the upcoming “The Iron Lady”. Doesn’t it look great?