4 stars out of 5
It isn't really a biopic of Margaret Thatcher, more a picaresque down memory lane with an old woman who has dementia. Meryl Streep inhabits the role in an almost spooky way, and Jim Broadbent is impressive (as always) as her late husband Denis, who is her constant hallucinatory companion. Thatcher's supporters in Great Britain hate the film; they want more of the young Maggie and none of the old, and they resent the implication that she regretted neglecting her family as she rose to the top, and that Denis and her twins Mark and Carol resented her absence. It isn't for me to say, but the parts of the story I already knew are presented with some fidelity, and I do think the mood is captured in an impressionistic way. The director was Phyllida "Mamma Mia" Lloyd, reunited with her star, and the writer was Abi Morgan, who has written a bunch of British television, including six episodes of the BBC series The Hour. Baroness Thatcher isn't the goddess here she was in her homeland, making it easier to sell this version of her here. So, just say to yourself, "It's only a movie..."