Run don't walk to see Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in the new movie 'The Iron Lady.'

If Streep doesn't win the Oscar for this performance there is no justice in Hollywood.

She portrays the demented Thatcher who sees her dead husband and carries out imaginary conversations with him.

She paints a picture of a sad old woman, desperately holding on to her last vestiges of sanity.

In flashback we see her life unfold as she remembers it.

After superbly acting out the old and semi deranged Thatcher Streep plays the most powerful woman in the world at her very height. She plays it so well that never for a moment do you not think it is Thatcher.

That is quite a trick, especially for an American, to pull off, the imperious gestures, the grating upper class voice, so inimical to most Irish people, the perfectly coiffed presence, who crushed or charmed every powerful man in her path.


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The scope of Thatcher's achievement is clear. A grocer's daughter entered a male-dominated world in the mother of parliaments and somehow found a way to be the first ever female Prime Minister of the world's oldest democracy.

The faults and flaws are clearly outlined too. The inability to understand the anger she created among the poorest in Britain with her savage social cuts, the cold blooded decision to let ten Irish hunger strikers die, the equally cold blooded decision to sink the General Belgrano, steaming away from the battle in the Falklands War among them.

Her husband Denis comes across as the hero of the piece, a man who was an infinitely calming presence on his megalomaniac wif.

He persuaded her finally she had outlived her popularity and was facing certain defeat in an election for Tory Party leader.

Thatcher finished power for a generation of Tories, so hated was she when she left office. yet her legacy has grown larger, especially here in America since she stepped down.

Meryl Streep's portrait warts and all is among the best work she has ever done-- no easy claim to fame that.