Imagine a Hollywood bio-pic about the rise of Ronald Reagan starring Tom Hanks, and that might give you some indication of the level of anticipation in the U.K. surrounding “The Iron Lady,” a film about Margaret Thatcher, starring Meryl Streep as the conservative British Prime Minister.
But will the film sidestep Thatcher’s detestable economic policies and moral values conservativism, which like Reagan’s parallel ’80s reign in the U.S., deregulated the financial industries, demonized homosexuals, and lead to high unemployment and a rise in poverty?
According to the official synopsis, attached to the trailer, “The Iron Lady” “tells the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising and insightful portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman.”
The teaser trailer itself (see below) is fairly toothless — a comical bit in which Thatcher finds her strong voice.
With The Weinstein Co set to release “The Iron Lady” domestically in December, there’s still time for Harvey–always up for some controversy–to reveal some of the film’s bite.
British papers have already tried to find out how much the film may be a Lefty skewering of Thatcher, or something far more innocuous.
Screenwriter Abi Morgan, who grew up in the ’80s, told the Guardian, “If there was one thing I admired about Maggie, it was her certainty. But that was also what I disliked about her.”
Morgan has tackled the Thatcherite 80s before. Her recent drama “Royal Wedding” — set in 1981 — examines the effects of Thatcher’s policies on a small working-class community in south Wales, “contrasting the fairy-tale fantasy that was the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer with the grim reality of lay-offs at the local factory,” according to the Guardian.
Elaborating on her latest project, Morgan said, “I think I’m always interested in the relationship of the personal and the political. I was very inspired, growing up in the north, by Ken Loach, Jack Rosenthal and Mike Leigh.”
With influences like that, it may turn out that “Iron Lady” will have some teeth, after all.