By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 14, 2011 at 5:19AM
Of everything this Oscar season, the biggest question mark has been "The Iron Lady." While most of the films in play made festival bows months ago, or have started screening for long-lead press by now, Phyllida Lloyd's biopic of legendary British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, starring the equally legendary Meryl Streep, has been kept tightly under wraps, with only a brief teaser trailer showing how the film might turn out.
With the film now set for a December 30th release, it was only going to be a little longer before we saw anything, and this morning has brought the debut of the full trailer for the film. And if there was any doubt as to where the film's political bread might be buttered, it's over on the website for right wing UK tabloid The Daily Mail. So how's it looking? Have the Weinsteins been keeping a stinker under wraps, or have they been hiding a surprise trump card away?
Hmm. On the one hand, the film looks fairly compelling, and well-shot, with some neatly composed images, tempering one of our biggest fears, that the "Mamma Mia" director wasn't the right choice to helm the project (although obviously the proof will be in the pudding). On the other, the clip is something of an apologia for Thatcher; we hope there's more nuance in the film as a whole (and with "The Hour" and "Shame" scribe Abi Morgan writing the script, there's reason to think that'll be the case).
More surprisingly (and at risk of offending the Streep brigade again) we're still to be won over by the glimpses of that central turn, principally thanks to the "Lemony Snicket"-style prosthetics, which are distracting more than anything else -- we're more convinced by the snippets of young Alexandra Roach as the younger Thatcher than we are by Streep, who doesn't disappear into the part in the way she normally does. Again, hopefully in context, it'll work better, and she's still a mortal lock for an Oscar nomination regardless. We'll find out how the film turns out when The Weinstein Company puts it into limited release on December 30th.