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2012年3月9日 星期五

The Iron Lady

Politics has never meant much to me, whether in real life or on the TV screen. But the Iron Lady changed my mind, not about politics but about how politics could be treated without being boring. Starring the academy award winning MeryI Streer as Margaret Thatcher, Alexandra Roach as the young Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher and Harry Lloyd as the young Denis Thatcher,directed by Phyllida Lloyd based on the screen play by Abi Morgan, it's a flash back of the life of the first woman Prime Minister of Britain as she went about signing her name on the fly pages of a biography about herself and reminiscing her past whilst clearing her late husband's wardrobe for Oxfam, having been told that the House of Lord will unveil her statue as one of the three there, along with that of Winston Churchill.

Clothes have a way of bringing up memories which only clothes can. Different suits, different occasions, different faces, different emotions: struggle, hope, fears, expectations, surprises, shocks, anxieties, little joys, disappointments, anger, regrets etc. And Meryl Streep ran through them all amidst clips and archive footages on the coal miner's strike, the defense of British sovereignty within the European Union, the Falkland Wars and various other highlights in her life. In many ways, Thatcher was a remarkable woman who rose through the ranks of British politics as the son of a shopkeeper, despite barriers of gender and class. But the focus of the film was not so much on her politics as on the woman in her, as a young lover, a young mother, a young and then a not so young wife. Although her husband is dead, she still hallucinates about him and often imagines him talking to her, encouraging her, supporting her, reminding her to pay a little more care about her health, making little jokes about her and trying to be silly just to make her laugh  and to relax a little and generally sharing intimate moments with her. It's definitely a film about what the Russian have called "The Iron lady"  not from the point of view of her as a politician, but from the point of view of her as, after all, a woman. And Meryl Streep is simply stunning. Her mannerisms, the way she wobbles about, the way she dreams and have that far away look in her eyes as she reminisces various episodes in her life, the way she longs to see her deceased's husband, the way she talks to him as if he were still alive and observing her little antics, the way she lives her life as if still observed by her late husband, the way she keeps her composure upon the minor surprises and tiny shocks upon realizing her slips of memory owing to senile dementia, the way she perfectly mimics the Oxford accent.... I think I know why she got the Oscar for being the best actress this year. I simply cannot imagine any other actress playing her part as well as she did!