I've never felt that writing movie reviews was my forte. My co-blogger is much better at it than I am. Nevertheless, I am going to give a quick analysis of "Iron Lady," the film depicting the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This movie was in the theaters in early 2012, and I never got around to seeing it until just after Lady Thatcher passed away on Monday.
Meryl Streep does a marvelous job playing Thatcher; with the right makeup, clothing and hair style, she strongly resembles the Iron Lady. Her vocal inflections and British accent sounded authentic.
I am a lover of history and nostalgia, and that's the main reason I rented the DVD from Red Box. There were some accurate segments, such as those depicting the miserable state of British society before Thatcher took command. She and her husband Denis were seen walking down a London street with black plastic garbage bags stacked up on both sides to the rooftops of 2-story buildings.
There were scenes of unruly youth and union militants smashing windows and clashing with police. Bombings done by the Irish Republican Army were more frequent than Islamofascist attacks are today.
But far too much of the film focused on two things:
A) Making Thatcher out to be an insufferable biddy who always had to get her way, would act abrasively toward friends and foes alike, and would not hesitate to dress down a chief aide in front of his colleagues during a cabinet meeting; and
B) Mrs. Thatcher living her final years as a pathetic, doddering octogenarian with dementia, frequently hallucinating that her late husband Denis was at her side, and having a propensity to drink alone.
There were some compelling scenes of her mixing it up with opponents during heated sessions of Parliament, and a pretty detailed treatment of the 74-day Falklands War, when Argentina invaded the South Atlantic islands in 1982 and the British ousted them after several hundred combatants on both sides had perished.
Thatcher's relationship with President Ronald Reagan wasn't given much time; there were a few brief film clips and photos, but nothing about their policies and actions vis a vis the Soviet Union.
I suppose I should not be disappointed that overwhelmngly leftist Hollywood sensationalized this fascinating 20th century leader and tried to take potshots at her. It's what they do. But the distortion could have been worse, so it doesn't bother me that much.
Of late I have seen quite a few disparaging comments about Thatcher's reign written by leftists who claim her economic policies didn't work and she caused much suffering. But these insights come from the same type of Orwellian observers who think Barack Obama's policies have helped our nation. There is no disputing that Great Britain, referred to in the late 1970s as the "Sick Man of Europe," was a dysfunctional basket case when Thatcher took over in 1979, and much more stable by the time she relinquished her leadership role in 1990. May she R.I.P.
BELATED NCAA HOOPS OBSERVATIONS — Belated congratulations to the Louisville Cardinals for their victory Monday night over the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Basketball National Championship. It was a wild, physical game with poor officiating and some incredible story lines. Both teams shot well from behind the arc (8-of-16 for Louisville; 8-of-18 for Michigan); and both teams had players take some nasty spills in what occasionally seemed like football on hardwood.
Michigan's all-everything superstar point guard Trey Burke got into early foul trouble (a couple of those calls were horrendous) and had to sit down for 10 minutes or so. Then, little-used backup guard Spike Albrecht came into the game and spread some pixie dust. He hit all four of his 3-point shots and scored 17 points in the first half.
Michigan had a 12-point lead in the first half, but Louisville came storming back in the second half to win the game, 82-76. The day after the game, I heard some sports talk radio pundits criticizing Michigan head coach John Beilein for having a poor grasp of how many fouls had been called on his squad late in the game and wasting precious time by not ordering his players to foul ASAP to stop the clock. The first few fouls against Michigan late in the fourth quarter would have resulted in the Cardinals taking the ball out of bounds, not shooting free throws.
There was also criticism of Beilein for not having Burke and other players drive the lane more frequently to cause Louisville's best players to either sit down for a while or foul out. Stars Luke Hancock and Peyton Siva both had three fouls on them with lots of time left. It was a catastrophic error for Michigan to continue jacking up 3-point shots rather than moving the ball inside.
All-n-all, it was an entertaining tilt. I know some good people who attended U-M (they're not ALL arrogant and obnoxious), but I know far more people who are insufferable and arrogant fans. For that reason, I am glad Michigan lost. It would have been damned tough for we Spartans to put up with the gi-normous, swelling yellow heads for the next 6 1/2 months until college hoops returns. I say "yellow" because even though BLUE is supposed to be Michigan's primary color, the team and its geeky fans seem obsessed with dressing like A) canaries; B) Laffy Taffy; C) highlighters; or D) Peeps. Gotta be careful: If I don't wear a welding mask while watching them, those garish uniforms will cause permanent retina damage!