Meryl Streep may have been nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady but Argentine critics reviewed the film as ‘mediocre’ during its premiere in Buenos Aires on Thursday.
The film opened in Argentine theaters amid a furor over the Falkland Islands, which Thatcher's Britain and Argentina fought a brief and bloody war over 30 years ago, when forces sent by the military Junta invaded the Islands in April 1982.
In the movie, Thatcher is shown ordering Britain's military to sink the Argentine warship Belgrano, which killed 323 Argentine sailors and remains controversial because the ship was considered to be outside the war zone.
She also dismisses the entreaties of the American ambassador to settle the dispute peacefully, suggesting that as a woman, she's had to go to war every day to maintain her hold on power.
Reducing the war to a question of feminism is absurd, to say the least, the daily Clarin wrote in Thursday's review. Nevertheless it admits that the brief scenes on the Malvinas war will “trigger curiosity” among Argentine public opinion, even when there are not that many revelations, besides the fact that the Iron Lady was the most convinced of going ahead with the war, in spite of all the advise to the contrary.
Others praised Streep's acting, but panned the script as mediocre.
A character so controversial for her own citizens, the citizens of the world and especially for Argentines, Thatcher deserves a better movie huffed La Nacion.
According to government financed Tiempo Argentino the director Phyllida Lloyd opts for a former prime minister that in senility and with the first symptoms of Alzheimer, “roams through her home holding imaginary conversations with her late husband and ill-treating her daughter”.
However it praised the re-edition of the war, “one of the few chapters with the right timing with a documented and serious investigation about the conflict”.
Which is the Thatcher that the director, script writer and leading actress really wanted to come across with asks Pagina 12. Ultimately the former prime minister is not properly defined.
For Ambito Financiero the film shows a Margaret Thatcher that pleases nobody. “Only the good team of actors with Meryl Streep saves a biography poorly compiled, from mediocrity”.
“The film will not please feminists or admirers or opponents of the Iron Lady and for Argentina it adds another factor of disappointment: “a triumphant Troy version of the Malvinas War with an admiration framework for that terrible imperial order to ‘Sink the Belgrano’”.
The sinking of the General Belgrano cruiser 2 May 1982 caused the loss of 323 Argentine sailors, mostly conscripts, and half the Argentine losses in the war. The sinking was involved in a long standing controversy because allegedly she was exiting the British exclusion zone imposed round the Falklands when she was torpedoed.
However politics aside Argentine Navy officers and recently released documents from the UK indicate that she was actually regrouping with an Argentine task force planning an attack on the Islands.