Meryl Streep: Thatcher Plus Child Forms 'The Iron Chef'

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" Photo: Alex Bailey/Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Wouldn't you just kill to see a Meryl Streep film that was one part Margaret Thatcher and one part Julia Child? Well, you can at least see the trailer, which blends bits from "The Iron Lady" with the My Life in France bits of "Julie and Julia." On a more serious note: How has Meryl Streep's performance in "The Iron Lady" been received by those close to Margaret Thatcher herself? Their (very mixed) reviews are surprisingly touching, and even the most critical reserve their ire for the film itself, not Meryl. Thatcher's chauffer says, "If I closed my eyes, it really was as if Mrs. Thatcher was talking."

Why do we do all these lists at the end of the year, when everyone's blood pressure is already high from overeating? For your consideration, TIME's "The Top 10 of Everything" issue has bundled together the year's best movies and the year's worst movies, and as usual the lists are more notable in their exclusions than their inclusions. Was "Sucker Punch" really worse than "The Smurfs"? Was "Red Riding Hood" worse than "Cowboys and Aliens"? Or "Big Mommas"? I could argue bad movies all day, but their best-of list is even more contentious, devoting a tenth of its space to "Fast Five," the latest in the "Fast and the Furious" franchise. Really TIME? Nothing else gave you a tingle or made you feel a real human emotion this year? Okay then.

Here's news that gave me a tingle: Winona Ryder, the love of my young life (and old life too, after her crazed turn in "Black Swan"), will appear in the adaptation of Anthony Bruno's The Iceman, a true story about a mob executioner who murdered over a hundred men, unbeknownst to his loving wife and kids. Sounds like a role with some meat to it! I approve. Incidentally, this weekend marked the passage of an entire decade since Ryder's infamous Saks shoplifting bust, and The Awl has commemorated the event with a brilliantly funny (and sweet) essay about the way incidents like these ripple through culture. Anyone know where we can get one of those sweaters?

Anyone who's still not tingling, maybe try on the "Rock of Ages" trailer? Tom Cruise doesn't do it for me, but I recognize that he has a certain pneumatic appeal, especially when partially unclothed. Personally I'm in it for Mary J. Blige, whose new album is all that stands between myself and the encroaching winter blues.

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