Monday, March 14, 2011

Reel People: Meryl Streep is Margaret Thatcher

The film is The Iron Lady, which is an original work written by Abi Morgan and Michael Hirst. The film is directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!).

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Roberts was born October 13, 1925 in Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom. Her father Alfred Roberts was a grocer, Methodist lay preacher, and later became involved in local politics as an alderman and Mayor.

Margaret was the second of two girls in her family, her older sister Muriel was four years older.

After primary school she won a scholarship to Kestevan and Grantham Girls School where in addition to receiving good scores as a student was involved extracurricularly in swimming, hockey and poetry. She would go on to Somerville College in Cambridge, where she would study Chemistry. Initially she was denied admittance, but reconsidered after another candidate withdrew.

Studying chemistry, and specializing crystallography, she would graduate and move to Colchester, England as a chemist for BX Plastics.

In 1949 attending a Paint Trade Federation function in Dartford, Margaret met Dennis Thatcher. At this time Margaret Roberts was a newly selected parliamentary candidate. Dennis was a successful businessmen who had recently been divorced (married to Margaret Kempson 1942-1948).

As Margaret started campaigning for parliament, she was supported by Dennis. They would get married in 1951. In the early 1950s Margaret Thatcher could not gain a set in Parliament, but did get the opportunity to go to law school, where she qualified as a barrister specializing in tax law in 1953. In 1953, Margaret also gave birth to twins Carol & Mark.

After many campaigns, Margaret became a member of parliament in 1959 for Finchley. Margaret would serve in this seat during her entire time in Parliament, representing the conservative party, with a keen eye on spending and lowering taxes. Her prominence rose when she became Education Secretary in 1970. She made firm and sometimes unpopular choices in this role (such as no longer provide free milk for children aged seven to eleven. Giving her the nickname 'Margret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher').

In 1979 after four years of being the leader of the opposition party, the conservatives won a 44 seat majority in the house of commons and Margaret Thatcher was selected to be the prime minister, making her the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom. She officially began as prime minister on May 4, 1979.

Margaret Thatcher would service as the Prime Minister for over 11 years. In addition to continued emphasis on the economy, privatization, and education, she was also the prime minister in the final days of The Cold War and worked closely with American President, Ronald Regan on policies towards the Soviet Republic. A defining part of her presidency also involved the Falklands War when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. Thatcher also had to deal with strikes by energy and industrial sectors, primarily the coal unions, due to her stances related to limiting the unions.

In 1990 Thatcher resigned as prime minister after her party began challenging her, largely due to low approval ratings and some of her personal convictions, primarily related to her refusal to agree to a timetable to join Europe's single currency system. In tears she left 10 Downing Street and her Chancellor John Major succeeded Thatcher. Thatcher remained in parliament for the next two years for Finchley before retiring at the age of 66 in 1992.

In the following years Thatcher continued to enter the political spotlight at times whether that's has been making speeches, appearing at important functions, or being honored by her country.

In 2002, Margaret Thatcher had a series of strokes and was advised not to make any more public speeches.

Denis Thatcher died June 26, 2003 of pancreatic cancer.

Margaret Thatcher remains a member of the House of Lords with the distinguished title of Baroness Thatcher.

The Iron Lady

In the film The Iron Lady the film is said to tell the story of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister, largely through flashbacks. Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher. Denis Thatcher (Margaret's husband) is played by Oscar winner Jim Broadbent.

Other British political figures that will be portrayed in the film include Geoffery Howe, Michael Hesltine, Michael Frost, John Nott, & Francis Pym.

Will the perpetually nominated Meryl Streep get nominated for her portrayal of this Real (Reel) Person?

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