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April 28, 2017

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Ironclad 'Lady' (鐵娘子:堅固柔情)

Meryl Streep is so unfair to all other actresses. Her versatility, her subtle intuition, her absolute ability to embody other people is uncanny.

In "The Iron Lady," her performance as Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative prime minister who changed the course of British society, is not simply spot-on surface impersonation, it is reincarnation. Thatcher's charismatic flair for Churchillian rhetoric, the devious blankness of her formal smile, her prim physical bearing — Streep captures every nuance.

Playing Thatcher from her arrival at Parliament in early middle age until her dotage (the early years are capably handled by lookalike Alexandra Roach), Streep inhabits every nook and cranny of a complex personality. Streep's work here is so overpowering that it unbalances the movie.

She is a steamroller that flattens almost every other player, save Jim Broadbent as her benignly tut-tutting husband, Denis. Which is appropriate, I suppose, for a woman whose drive powered her from modest beginnings as a grocer's daughter to becoming Britain's first female prime minister.

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