Rusty Iron Lady falls flat on screen

EVER since I heard that Meryl Streep was going to play the lead role in the biopic of Britain’s most controversial prime minister of the 20th century I’d been looking forward to the film.

But I’m afraid The Iron Lady turned out to be one of the most disappointing films I’ve ever seen!

I’m not saying I haven’t seen worse – but this was such a monumental waste of talent in a film that was jumpy, episodic, and factually inaccurate.

Ms Streep is fantastic as Maggie – she got the voice and the walk down to a (Mrs) T. And the supporting cast, a who’s who of British acting talent, could have done a great job if they’d been given enough scope.

But the shocking script and direction denied them all opportunities.

Why the film had to concentrate so much on the fact that she now suffers from dementia was totally baffling: 86-year-old has dementia is hardly a story in itself. The story with Mrs Thatche is what she did before she retired 21 years ago, and that is too often glossed over.

The key events of her life and career are seen as little insets into her life with dementia – and they are not portrayed in chronological order so it looks like a real hotch-potch.

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Therefore you get the Brighton bombing (in 1984) dramatised before the Falklands war (in 1982). And the year-long miners’ strike is ignored altogether.

So is the Westland Affair – which sowed the seeds of her downfall four years later.

Then there are the factual inaccuracies – she didn’t challenge “The Prime Minister” for the leadership of the Tory Party. Ted Heath had lost two general elections in 1974 before she challenged him in early 1975.

And I don’t recall the Thatchers in their official car being caught up in poll tax riots in 1990. I suspect if they had been caught up in it then the world and his wife would have known!

Neither do I recall hearing that Mrs T was in the House of Commons garage when Airey Neave was blown up.

The inaccuracies and omissions mean even Ms Streep can’t make this anything but a turkey!