Britain’s greatest prime minister since Churchill is seen through a glass, darkly — the darkness of dementia closing in. Her bouffant crown of hair is gone, but flickering memories turn into brisk flashbacks of the glory years. Meryl Streep is quite touching as Margaret Thatcher in retirement and is a brilliant poser in her prime of bulldozing power. In the political segments, Thatcher is surrounded by file footage and cartoonish men in suits. The decision of director Phyllida Lloyd and writer Abi Morgan to frame this fierce, game-changing leader as a sad has-been is diminishing, almost demeaning. With Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, and (young Maggie) Alexandra Roach. 2012.

2.0 stars

— David Elliott

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