Meryl Streep is my pick for 2011’s best actress for her incredible, uncanny, Oscar-winning work as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in director Phyllida Lloyd’s engaging biopic. Streep disappears into the role. Yes, it’s in part due to excellent makeup work, but it’s mostly due to Streep’s beautifully nuanced performance. She plays Thatcher at many ages, including Thatcher’s recent declining years—and Streep is spot-on. Her accent is natural, and her physicality is perfection; this is, quite simply, a performance that can be stacked up against any other. Yes, the film glosses over a lot of the political aspects that made Thatcher controversial (although it does spend some decent time on the Falklands War). It focuses mainly on Thatcher’s relationship with her husband (played in later years by Jim Broadbent), and her psychological and emotional difficulties in her elder years. This film is all about Streep and an actress showing the world how this sort of thing is done.
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Producer: Damian Jones, François Ivernel, Cameron McCracken, Tessa Ross and Adam Kulick
Cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Alexandra Roach, Harry Lloyd, Olivia Colman, Iain Glen, Victoria Bewick, Nicholas Farrell, John Sessions, Anthony Head, David Westhead, Julian Wadham, Richard Grant, Angus Wright, Roger Allam, Michael Pennington, Susan Brown and Phoebe Waller-Bridge