Maggie, Meryl, and Multi-tasking…

Last Friday night our friend Janet invited us to a Producer’s Guild screening of the movie, “Iron Lady“.

The Iron Lady poster

I haven’t mentioned it before, but one of the perks of living in Hollywood, is we get invitations to movie screenings.   What are those?  In order to get people in the *Industry* to see your film,  which is especially important at the end of the year leading up to Oscar time, there are free screenings for members of the various unions and guilds.  A valid industry card will get two free tickets to regular movie theaters, but I prefer the private screenings because they usually include conversations with the director, actors, cinematographer, production designer, costume designer, etcetera.

Before the movie started on Friday night a young woman went onto the stage to welcome us, remind us to switch off our cell phones, and then she said, “Please folks, we hope we’ll have your full attention so please don’t text during the show.”

Margaret Thatcher in her trademark blue suit


This comment was made to a movie theater of adult professionals?  Oh, well…!

and the movie?

The Iron Lady is an intimate, insightful story about Margaret Thatcher, the grocer’s daughter, who broke through gender and class barriers to become the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

I loved it.

I was entranced from the first scene where an elderly Maggie Thatcher with a scarf on her head, buys a pint of milk and is shocked at the price.

I kept wondering when Meryl Streep was going to show up. It took me at least thirty minutes before I realized I was watching Meryl, in what I think is her finest role to date.

I predict an Oscar for her, and if she doesn’t win, the Academy of Arts and Science will have to explain why not to me.

I also thought Jim Broadbent was an excellent Denis Thatcher, and predict an Oscar for him.

The movie was directed by Phyllida Lloyd, who was at our screening last weekend. She told us she’d also directed Meryl Streep in Mama Mia, that no one else (British or American) could’ve played Maggie, and how Meryl wowed the crew with her flawless British accent, plus superb portrayal of the Iron Lady.

The following trailer of the movie includes a clip of one my favorite scenes, one  where Maggie remembers she has a husband and children: “I may be persuaded to surrender the hat,” Meryl says, “The pearls, however, are absolutely non-negotiable. Denis gave them to me when my twins were born…”


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30 Responses to Maggie, Meryl, and Multi-tasking…

  1. says:

    Looks great! I loved her in Julie and Julia

    • dearrosie says:

      Remember how she was the tall deep voiced Julia Child in Julia and Julia? One of my favorite scenes from the movie is where she learned to chop onions and gave that lovely little triumphant laugh when she got it. That was Meryl who got it. And this is the same Meryl who is addressing the British parliament with a very lah-di-dah accent

  2. Janet Eckholm says:

    Two things I found interesting in the Q&A – one was that the director has a strong background is in opera and Shakespeare, which gave her an interesting take on the language and pageantry of Maggie’s reign. Another was that Meryl was looking for a script that addressed the ‘end of life’ point of view – when she received this, she told the director she thought this was the one. The film really does take you to that place to reflect on your own life as well as Maggie’s.

    • Boris says:

      So true … the film painted large slice of the twentieth century in UK world politics for a background, from the Sinn Fein’s / IRA fomenting anger to the invasion of the Falkland Islands and memorable points between, but kept riveting focus on the inner life of the aging potentate ‘M.T.’ and her intimate, incessant whispering dialog with Dennis, her life mate and husband. An amazing accomplishment of writing, direction and performance.

      • dearrosie says:

        Hi Boris,
        Nice to see you here again.
        I’m glad you mentioned the superb writing, direction, and acting. It was all that an amazing melding of history with the loneliness of old age.

        I loved Maggie’s conversation with the American ambassador re invading the Falkland islands when she answered his question with this question: “When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour did you not run to defend Hawaii? Did you not enter the second world war to defend a little island?”

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Janet,
      It’s always a pleasure to welcome you here.

      Unfortunately after I watch a two-hour movie my bladder starts crying, so I missed the part in the Q&A which explained the director’s background in opera and Shakespeare, and too that Meryl was looking for an ‘end of life’ script. Thank you for sharing it.

      Meryl’s brilliant performance, and the well written script did leave me reflecting on my life.

  3. Boris says:

    Loved the movie – whatever you think of Thatcher’s policies, the acting, writing, directing, cinematography, editing, production design, sound design, costume, hair and make-up crafts that make this film the ensemble masterpiece that it is are the best of the best. We’re really lucky to live in an age of cinema art that can bring us such a superb achievement…and it only for the effort of doing battle with LA traffic…

    • dearrosie says:

      HI Boris,
      I agree with you that the actors plus all the behind the screen folks who worked on this movie did an excellent job. Talking of which I feel I must make a special mention of Meryl’s makeup – it was brilliant.

      Oh god don’t get me started on the LA traffic…

  4. I can’t wait to see it! I’d watch Meryl in anything — even the abysmal “Mama Mia” — so as Thatcher, she has to be amazing!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Betty,
      I also watch Meryl in everything -well almost everything – I couldn’t get myself to watch “Mama Mia”.

      There’s a problem if I rave about her performance too too much that you’ll expect way too much and may be disappointed. So I’ll just say I liked it.

  5. Cindy says:

    Looking forward to seeing it!

  6. magsx2 says:

    Thank You for putting in the preview, looks awesome, I will definitely go to see this movie. 😀

  7. Priya says:

    I quite enjoyed your review and Janet and Boris’ observations. I’d love to be able to watch the movie. I hope I am able to here!

    • dearrosie says:

      I also hope you’re able to see the movie Priya. Are Meryl Streep movies shown in wide release in India? Is there a small independent movie theatre that screens British movies, or do you have to wait to see it on DVD?

  8. Thank you for such an insider’s viewpoint and making us aware of it. I can’t wait to see it. It has all the elements of a terrific movie, it seems. So after “The King’s Speech” there is another gem waiting for us to view? Along with the movie, you really had a unique opportunity to experience the project up close. Please invite us back to another movie screening. Margaret Thatcher had twins? Remarkable woman.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Georgette,
      It’s brilliant and easily compares to “The King’s Speech”.
      I didn’t know why Margaret Thatcher entered politics, or that she’d given birth to twins, or even how much she and Dennis really loved each other.

      Let us know your thoughts when you see it.

      • I’m afraid we aren’t very timely in viewing movies. Finally, just saw “The Help” because it’s on DVD now. So, I have marked my calendar to look for it in April or so, w/ a “dearrosie” next to the movie title.

      • dearrosie says:

        Hi Georgette,
        I’m very honored to be on your movie calendar 🙂 Let us know when you see it.

        You didn’t mention what you thought of “The Help.” I thought it was well acted, and thought provoking. My word what those women had to put up with…

  9. Meryl Streep is a true pure old-school actress, as she so becomes her character, you do exactly what you said, wonder when she’ll be on stage. UNLIKE George Clooney, who I saw the other day in Descendants…no matter what role he plays, he’s always George Clooney. Handsome but can’t act his way out of a paper bag.

    I wonder if the Brits have their nose out of joint that an American is portraying Thatcher? I can’t wait to see this. Thanks for the teaser trailer.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi EOS,
      We saw “The Descendants” over Thanksgiving. I loved the movie, loved that it was set in Hawaii, thought the two daughters performances were excellent – especially the older one – and yes yes I agree with you that George Clooney’s a handsome dude (even in those hilarious Hawaiin shirts), but no one said he could act.

      At the Q&A after the movie the director was asked what the Brits think about having an American actress play “their” Maggie Thatcher, and she recounted that at a recent radio phone in most people thought Meryl Streep was the only one able to play the part.

  10. souldipper says:

    I haven’t seen the move yet, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it immensely. Well, when Meryl Streep is involved… 😀

  11. munchow says:

    I haven’t watched the Iron Lady yet, but will. She was quite a character back then – and the title reflects quite correctly how she was. I enjoyed you comment about cell phones. But adult professionals? I cover the Sundance Film Festival every year, and texting is abundant during screenings…

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Munchow,
      I actually don’t know how Maggie Thatcher got her Iron Lady nickname.

      I’m very disappointed to hear that people send texts even during screenings at the Sundance Film festival.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Now I can’t wait to see this movie! I think Meryl Streep is the greatest actress of our time. That must be cool going to a film industry movie screenings!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Barbara,
      I don’t think anyone would disagree with you that Meryl Streep’s the greatest actress of our time.

      I must say I enjoy the industry screenings. There’s no talking or eating popcorn – everyone’s there to “see the movie”.

  13. dearrosie says:

    Yaay Meryl won! 17 nominations! What an actress 🙂

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