Meryl Streep’s performance in this movie was spot-on; The story surrounding the performance, however, was not so great.

The Iron Lady is the story of Margaret Thatcher – Britain’s first and only lady Prime Minister. She served as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and now in retirement, is apparently suffering from some form of dementia. The story illuminates her struggles with dementia. Not such a great basis for a story. I get the dichotomy between being the most powerful woman in Europe to now being somewhat helpless, but, it just doesn’t work.

To be fair, the makers do try to highlight her many accomplishments. They also chronicle the history of her political career and how it intertwined with her personal life. But the balance between those worlds is just not strong enough to be interesting.

Naturally, there are flashbacks, but, those aren’t blended well into the other elements of the story either. There’s just little good to say about the story. The discussion has to be about Meryl Streep’s performance…

So I approached this as I do with all of my reviews about biopics: Does this performance pass my litmus test – Is Meryl Streep convincing me that she IS Margaret Thatcher. The answer is yes.

But, there’s an irony to her performances. Like Julie and Julia, I have a lot of trouble letting go of the litmus test game with Meryl Streep. I always want to say she plays all of her characters as herself, but, it’s just not true. She looks like Margaret Thatcher, she sounds like Margaret Thatcher – it’s impossible to deny.

Like Julia Child, Meryl Streep does such a good job of capturing not only the person’s looks, but, their mannerisms… their gestures… their sound. She manages to reproduce every nuance, which is why she continues to get nominated for industry awards year after year after year.

I’m not going to call this a lock for a Golden Globe or an Oscar, but, the other nominees will be chasing her.

The other thing of note is – acknowledging how weak the story is – it’s a testament to Meryl Streep’s quality that she can be in a movie this bad and still walk away with the highest accolades. I think that’s what strikes me the most. Gobsmacked is what the English call it. I’m definitely Gobsmacked…

See this movie on DVD. No rush to get to the theatre – you’re basically seeing this to see Meryl Streep.