Iron Lady faces hostile crowds

Thatcher biopic is attacked from left and right.

by Jennie Kermode

Now in a cinema near you, Margaret Thatcher is as controversial as ever. Biopic The Iron Lady, which stars Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent, has attracted strong criticism from people on both the left and the right of politics - often before they've even seen it.

In a poll by the Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette in Tyneside, 78% of respondents said they would be giving the film a miss. Meanwhile, former miners have organised protests against it, with a group in Chesterfield proclaiming themselves 'the real iron ladies' for supporting their husbands during the 1984 strikes.

The film has fared little better on the right, with Norman Tebbit criticising it for portraying Thatcher as an emotional woman, something he says he does not recognise. David Cameron said that, whilst he admires Meryl Streep's acting, he thinks it was inappropriate to make the film while she's still alive. And Michael Heseltine has an issue with the casting, complaining that Richard E Grant, who plays him, just doesn't have good enough hair.

All this could be bad news for the film, but it is hoping to be more popular with audiences in America and Streep is considered a leading Oscar contender, having been nominated an amazing 16 times in the past.

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