The Iron Lady [2011]

 You know how sometimes people say that an actor carried a certain movie? Sometimes it’s just a figure of speech. In some cases, though, it’s completely accurate. Meryl Streep becomes Margaret Thatcher in 2011’s The Iron Lady; by far the best performance of the year. She is the movie and, well, when you have someone as talented as Streep, it’s hard to notice anything else but her. The actress, along with director Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) and screenwriter Abi Morgan (Shame) gives us a fascinating character study, the story of Thatcher as daughter, lover, mother and ruler. It often takes too much time with her post-Government, Alzheimer’s-stricken days (depressing stuff), but her ascent to power, her time in 10 Downing St. and her inevitable downfall are riveting. Apart from Meryl, who got her 17th Oscar nomination for playing the “Iron Lady”, kudos must go to Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, the men who did the spectacular makeup for the film.