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Christopher Shea on how 'The Iron Lady' made Margaret Thatcher apolitical

SHARE Christopher Shea on how 'The Iron Lady' made Margaret Thatcher apolitical

Two of the movies vying for awards attention this season have been biopics: The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and J. Edgar, starring Leonardo Dicaprio as former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

There’s a connection between these films, argues TimeOut’s Christopher Shea, and it’s more than their genre. Of The Iron Lady he writes: “There’s something odd afoot, when a movie that is entirely about seismic shifts in gender politics somehow gains the reputation of being entirely apolitical.”

Read an excerpt or listen below:

In a recent appearance on The View, Iron Lady director Phyllida Lloyd and her just-nominated majesty Meryl Streep explained the politics of the film to the ladies of the show. Prompted by hostess Sheri Shepard’s confident assertion that the film is not political, but a love story, Lloyd affirmed in England, there are two ways of looking at former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the subject of the film: “There’s the monster she-devil who ruined the lives of millions, or there’s the blessed St. Margaret who saved Britain from it’s post-war decline...and we just wanted to tell a different story from woman’s point of view,” the story of being a lower-class girl in a party of posh boys.

Proving once again her ability to appear chameleon-like into a role, Streep nodded along, looking interested, and at one point added, “I tell my daughters the world was really, really different then. Women were teachers, nurses, not politicians.”

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