The Iron Lady: Meryl Streep is ‘cashing in’ on Thatcher, say friends of former PM

It is the most eagerly awaited film performance of the year, but is also already proving to be the most controversial.

Christopher Hope and Anita Singh
The Telegraph [UK]
14 Nov 2011

The Iron Lady, a new biopic starring Meryl Streep as Baroness Thatcher, has drawn an angry response from friends over its portrayal of the former prime minister as a lonely figure sliding into dementia.

In the opening scenes, a frail Lady Thatcher is seen shuffling into a corner shop to buy a pint of milk and expressing shock at 21st-century prices.

Back at her Belgravia home, her security team fret that she has left the house unsupervised.

Another scene shows her oblivious to the fact that her husband, Sir Denis, is dead. She imagines him to be in the room and conducts conversations with him, before revisiting her glory years in a series of flashbacks.

Lord Bell, who as Tim Bell was a key PR adviser to the Prime Minister throughout the 1980s, said: “I can’t be bothered to sensationalise this rubbish.

“I can’t see the point of this film. Its only value is to make some money for Meryl Streep and whoever wrote it. I have no interest in seeing it. I don’t need a film to remind me of my experiences of her. It is a non-event.

“It won’t make any difference to her place in history of the fact of what she did.”

Friends and family have dismissed the drama as a “Left-wing fantasy”, although it portrays Lady Thatcher as a strong leader during the Falklands conflict, the miners’ strike and other crises.

Releasing the film during her lifetime is an insult, they have claimed. One friend of Lady Thatcher said she would not watch the film. “She has not seen it. She never watches anything about herself in any case.”

The depiction of Lady Thatcher as a stooped old lady in a headscarf contrasts with her appearance during her most recent public outing.

Dressed in a trademark blue suit, she beamed for the cameras as she celebrated her 86th birthday last month with her son, Sir Mark…

The article continues at The Telegraph.

Related: Director defends Iron Lady film and Meryl Streep is warned about playing Margaret Thatcher: ‘Do not act out your politics’


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