I have little doubt that THE IRON LADY, the new biopic of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, will feature another transcendent performance in Meryl Streep’s already platinum canon, and rumor has it that it’s an Oscar-caliber role that could garner her a long-delayed 3rd victory. The most nominated actress in Oscar history (with 2 wins) hasn’t taken home the lil’ eunich in an unfathomable EIGHTEEN YEARS (for 1982s SOPHIE’S CHOICE). She’s been nominated twelve times since winning (16 over all – 13 for Best Actress and 3 for Best Supporting Actress) and if anything, it’s a surefire given of a 17th nod.
But how high are hopes when the director is Phyllidia Lloyd, the theater director responsible for Streep’s worst film – and her one and only big screen project (she did direct a TV presentation of the opera GLORIANA) – the monstrous MAMMA MIA!?
Also, a golden opportunity was missed in casting: why oh why was Stanley Tucci not asked to play Thatcher’s husband, Denis? Sure, Jim Broadbent (Oscar winner for IRIS) is a great actor, but who could deny Tucci – of late, the go-to-guy for fey sidekick-with-a-quip supporting player – to camp it up? He’s been a fine Streep compatriot in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and JULIA AND JULIA.
As with all things Meryl, I’ll give the film the benefit of the doubt (and I hate to pre-judge anything, let alone a Streep project) – even if the reviews are scathing, I’ll never miss the opportunity to view Streep glow on the big screen.
Or, at least, glimmer on an Oscar screener.