The film begins in the present with Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving British Prime Minister of the twentieth century, diminished by age. Once the most powerful woman in Europe she now goes unrecognized at her local convenience store. She daydreams conversations with her late husband and reflects on the past, which leads us into the “greatest hits” biographical format that makes up most of the movie.
What follows is the inevitable mega montage of newscasts, archival footage, snippets from Thatcher’s speeches and some behind-the-scenes intrigue all framed by more private moments–both past and present.
It’s all rather standard, elevated by a performance which, once again, displays what a great technician Meryl Streep is. She embodies Thatcher, from the flamboyant hair to the ever-present pearls although the real heavy lifting is done in the “lion in winter” scenes. It’s there she goes beyond the showy impersonation and becomes an emotional, well rounded portrait.