Strong-willed leader with a woman's touch

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am


In an Oscar-winning performance, Meryl Streep plays the controversial yet strong-willed former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

The film opens with Thatcher in her 80s, and struggling with dementia. She's also filled with grief from the memories of her long dead husband, Denis (Jim Broadbent). She wrestles with the decision to rid her home of his belongings. Perhaps because of her mental condition, Thatcher cannot separate the present from the past: Denis still seems very much alive.

The Iron Lady then jumps back in time to Thatcher's youth in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Her father and town mayor, Alfred Roberts (Iain Glen), gives her daily doses of his political speeches. Many years later, after graduating from Oxford University, she struggles to get into a position of influence in politics, before marrying Denis.

The rest of the film shows her steady climb up the country's political ladder. She ultimately succeeds James Callaghan to become the first female prime minister of Britain. The film puts into focus many of the complicated issues she confronted during her time in office.

The Iron Lady opens tomorrow