October 26, 2016
        Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards        

Meryl Streep is “astonishing” in “The Iron Lady” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: British press who got their first look at “The Iron Lady” yesterday are praising Meryl Streep’s performance as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher while gently condemning the movie, as a whole.

Writing for The Guardian, chief critic Xan Brooks says Streep “is the one great weapon of this often silly and suspect picture. Her performance is astonishing and all but flawless; a masterpiece of mimicry which re-imagines Thatcher in all her half-forgotten glory. Streep has the basilisk stare; the tilted, faintly predatory posture. Her delivery, too, is eerily good – a show of demure solicitude, invariably overtaken by steely, wild-eyed stridency.”

No surprise. Sight unseen, Streep was determined to be the cream of this film’s crop, if only because you largely can say that about EVERY Streep film.

Most of us paying attention to Phyllida Lloyd’s pending biopic wondered if it had the weight to compete in additional categories outside of Best Actress. Is it a Best Picture/Director combo? Can Jim Broadbent work his way into the Supporting Actor race for his portrayal of Denis Thatcher?

It’s unclear at this point. All we know is that Brooks calls it “a movie that gives us Thatcher without Thatcherism. ‘The Iron Lady’ … opts for a breezy, whistle-stop tour through the unstable nitroglycerin of Thatcher’s life and times. The tone is jaunty and affectionate, a blend of ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘The King’s Speech,’ fuelled by flashbacks that bob us back through authorised history.”

“Breezy” and “jaunty” don’t suggest Best Picture contender. We shall see.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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