At last we have a trailer for the Meryl Streep biopic of Margaret Thatcher. I've reserved judgment on this, figuring I'd just have to wait and watch it, but the trailer isn't filling me with hope:
It's not her. Meryl may be playing an interesting character, but that character isn't Margaret Thatcher.
This is Margaret Thatcher:
See the difference? She didn't make jokes about her iron will at her own expense. She made them at the expense of the Soviet Union. It's an important distinction, and if you don't grasp that, you're missing the point. That flirty-wincy "Aren't I a clever girl?" expression Meryl makes? Never seen it on Margaret Thatcher, not even once. She used her femininity, for sure, but never once do you see a moment when the mask slips and she's revealed as a cynic. That's because it wasn't a mask.
It's hard to get Margaret Thatcher right, but it can be done. Janet Brown did it with much more success:
I wouldn't say that's side-splittingly funny, but it's a dead-on imitation of Margaret Thatcher, performed by someone who studied Thatcher's body language, facial expressions and diction, and who had the talent--or perhaps the will--to recreate them faithfully.