I love a good movie almost as much as a good book. In both cases good writing is essential—the basic and absolutely essential requirement—but beyond that, for me, there’s one more necessity for a movie, and that’s good performances. Just as certain authors are auto-buys for me, so are certain actors. Meryl Streep is one of those.
Which is why I rented “The Iron Lady” as soon as it came out. I had to see what Meryl would do with Margaret Thatcher. It was hard for me to imagine a script that would hold my interest about that period with Thatcher as the focus, but with Meryl playing the part, I had to give it a chance. From what I’d seen, the makeup job was amazing, and she always nails the voice, but beyond that, did she really deserve another Oscar?
Yep. She did. You know how I can tell? My husband watched it, beginning to end, and when the credits rolled, he had only one thing to say. “Meryl Streep is an amazing actress.” Indeed. She did for Margaret Thatcher what Helen Mirren did for Elizabeth in “The Queen.”
Streep has a gift for using her hands, her body, every bit of her face to express character in subtle but unmistakable ways. No one does it better. I believed her as a powerful woman in her prime and as an old woman struggling with the onset of dementia. The script is okay—makes good use of flashback—but it’s uneven. The scene in which Margaret finally bags up her husband’s clothes (he’s been dead for years) really touched me. I remember when my mother gave my father’s clothes away. I watched my grandmother take some of my grandfather’s things from the “front closet” and give them to a man who had come to the door. That scene depicted that moment beautifully as the former prime minister of Great Britain became every woman.
If you haven’t seen Streep’s latest triumph, check it out. If you have, what did you think? And what have you seen or read lately that you can recommend?
Oh, and one more thing. Shameless plug time. I just got the line edits for YOU NEVER CAN TELL, which is the sequel to THE LAST GOOD MAN. Shouldn’t be too long before Bell Bridge Books brings Kole Kills Crow’s story out. They’re working on the new cover now. Can’t wait to see it!