The Iron Lady

PG-13 for British conservatism, blue pantsuits, a woman caught between her drive to raise a family and her ambition to be portrayed by Meryl Streep in a gauzy biopic

Release Date for purpose of Meryl Streep’s Oscar eligibility: December 30, 2011

Release Date for purpose of actually being seen by audiences: January 13, 2012


Look, film critics. Maybe you just don’t get biopics.

You’ve been singing the same dreary tune all season. J. Edgar fizzled, except for Leonardo DiCaprio. My Week with Marilyn stank, except for Michelle Williams. The Iron Lady sucks, except for Meryl Streep.

At what point do you realize that you’re looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place, like a child in Wendy’s ordering a Big Mac? Or a drunkard hitting on a lamppost? Or a drunk child ordering a Big Mac from a lamppost?

You’re acting as if a biopic is supposed to be a good movie. Or a movie at all. Or anything other than a showcase for a famous actor to receive an Oscar nomination. The fancy monologues go to Streep, Williams, or DiCaprio. Your only line, film critics, is “[Oscar-craving actor]’s performance captures not only the mannerisms and idiosyncrasies of [controversial famous person], but the full three-dimensionality of their person. It is a tour de force.”

Is that so hard to say?

So stop complaining that The Iron Lady is “a misconceived movie,” “laughable,” and “to put it kindly, a shambles.” Don’t whine that it “makes a particular hash of British history, compressing social and economic turmoil into a shorthand that resembles a chronologically scrambled British version of Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire.'” Don’t, in short, tell the lamppost that she’s got an ugly face and smudged makeup.

Just give Meryl another nomination and move along your way.

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