The upcoming biopic “The Iron Lady” depicts former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a doddering old woman looking back on her life. That’s hardly the kind of image her admirers imagined when the notion of a biopic first hit the news.
Yet a historian says the film is already causing Brits to reconsider Thatcher’s legacy – both as a feminist icon and a ruler of consequence – weeks before its U.S. release. Could it do the same stateside?
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Historian Amanda Foreman has already seen Meryl Streep’s work as Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” and Foreman wrote a Newsweek article about the film’s potential impact. She shared her thoughts with C-SPAN host Peter Slen earlier this week:
SLEN: What’s the current opinion of Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain? What’s the current mood about her?
FOREMAN: The current opinion. Well, I think that the film actually has prompted a massive rethink of Lady Thatcher. That most people, I think, shared my opinion, that it was someone who had been in power 20 years ago that she was a big towering figure, but was like an out-of-control Sherman tank, and was bossy, and loud, and seemed to create more discontent than anything else. And this film has reminded us that she was also a great feminist pioneer who changed the face of the world in terms of what it was possible for women to achieve, and that she ended the Cold War. And those are two things, that I know I somehow managed to forget.