Iron Lady, The (Blu-ray) (2011)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 25-Apr-2012

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Biopic Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of-2
Featurette-3
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 104:38
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Phyllida Lloyd
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Meryl Streep
Jim Broadbent
Susan Brown
Alice da Cunha
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Iain Glen
Alexandra Roach
Victoria Bewick
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Thomas Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Margaret Thatcher is probably the most significant female political leader ever considering that she led the United Kingdom through turbulent times for over 11 years. She is known around the world and either respected or reviled. Whether you agree with her politics or not, you cannot argue that she had a significant impact on the world. This film is ostensibly a biopic of this famous world leader; however, it takes a very different approach to other biopics, being less linear and less about the events and more about the person and her interpersonal relationships. This has resulted is some critics writing this film off and lamenting its lack of detail about the events of her prime ministership, whilst universally praising the Oscar winning performance by Meryl Streep as Thatcher. I take the opposite view, that this approach to Thatcher's story is a revelation, resulting in a powerful portrait of a woman first, a wife second and a world leader as well.

     This film does tell Margaret Thatcher's life story but it is not linear focusing on her long term romantic and loving relationship with Denis Thatcher (Jim Broadbent) and using this as a device to revisit the important moments in her life and political career. The movie opens on Thatcher as an old lady, being cared for by live-in help and her daughter, imagining Denis being with her, despite (in moments of clarity) knowing that he isn't. She is in the process of clearing out his clothes and shoes from the wardrobe and this causes her to remember specific events from the past. The film certainly covers the major events in her life, her background as the daughter of a shopkeeper, her first election to parliament, her ascension to shadow cabinet, her challenge for party leadership, her election as prime minister, the Falklands war, the Brighton bombing, poll tax and more. These are generally told on a more personal level, her conversations, her speeches etc. rather than by the events themselves. This is very powerful and results in a very emotional and affecting film, highlighting the romance between her and Denis and the melancholy of an old woman on her own. This is not to say that the film does not have any lightness to it as there are often amusing situations or lines of dialogue. Richard E Grant also appears as her eventual leadership challenger Michael Heseltine.

     As I mentioned before this film is centred on a magnificent, Oscar winning portrayal of Thatcher by Meryl Streep who is magnificent both as Thatcher during her time as Prime Minister but also as the old confused lady living without her lifetime love, Denis. Broadbent is also magnificent and it is their relationship and on screen rapport that drives this film. Another fantastic element is the music by Thomas Newton which is dramatic and emotional adding significantly to the quality of this film. One of these days he will win a well deserved Oscar after 10 nominations (not for this film though). The direction by Mamma Mia director, Phylidda Law is assured and creates a marvellous portrait which is different to most biopics you have seen. The film also won an Oscar for its wonderful makeup work, which is well deserved.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this very different biopic and would recommend it for lovers of fine cinema rather than those looking for a standard biopic approach.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout and the shadow detail was very good. The colour was excellent with no issues to report.

     There is some minor shimmer to be seen very occasionally but this is nit-picking.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired. They were clear and easy to read and in multiple colours.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is excellent.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS-HD MA 5.1. Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Effects were also very clear with lots of separation across the front and rear speakers.

     The music by Thomas Newton sounds marvellous on this transfer.

     The surround speakers were surprisingly well used on what is a dialogue driven film, with voices, helicopters, cars, trucks and explosions filling the sound field with great regularity. One of the best sound designs I have heard on a non-action film.

     The subwoofer was also well used supporting music, explosions, missiles and other equipment like helicopters.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A small collection of extras which are a little repetitive.

Menu

     The menu included sounds and scenes from the film and a nice design with a union jack cursor.

Making of - Part 1 (11:44)

     A better than average making of which covers locations, the director’s views, Margaret Thatcher herself and more topics. Worth a look.

Making of - Part 2 (12:00)

     This second making of covers casting, shooting and makeup. Also worth watching.

Love Denis (2:48)

     Short promo focusing on the Denis Thatcher character. Repeats some content from making ofs.

Costume Designer (2:48)

     Short promo focused on Thatcher's style and the costumes.

Young Margaret (2:44)

     Short promo focused on the actress who plays the young Thatcher.

DTS-HD MA Sound Check

     5.1 and 7.1 versions are available.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Blu-ray version of this film in Region A is similar, however, seems to miss out on the second making of and includes an extra promo piece. I think the local version has a slight edge on that basis.

Summary

     An emotional, affecting and different biopic.

     The video quality is very good. The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are nothing too exciting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, June 01, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
A tawdry film that wastes the talents of a great actress - penguin REPLY POSTED