February 20, 2012

Washington and Thatcher

Happy Presidents Day!  Hopefully you aren't at work today, though I know quite a few people who are.  It's interesting to read about the history of Presidents Day and the different titles the holiday has in different states. For example, the actual name of the holiday is "Washington's Birthday," originally a holiday observed only by government workers in the District of Columbia.  In the great state of Alabama, the holiday is officially called "Washington and Jefferson Day," although Jefferson's birthday is actually in April.  Who knew?  (Most of all, Presidents Day reminds me of the fantastic movie, Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It's a must-watch if you have never seen it!)

Yesterday I spent the day with a friend, and among our adventures was a viewing of The Iron Lady, promoted as a biopic of Margaret Thatcher.  Thatcher was not only the first, and only, female Prime Minister of Great Britain, but she was also the longest-serving Prime Minister.  

While the movie did show us many of the accomplishments and failures of Thatcher's life, it also focused much on her dementia in later life; it seems more like a snapshot of Thatcher's life rather than a full-fledged biopic.  I will say that Meryl Streep was excellent in this role; she was perfectly cast, and she truly transformed herself into Thatcher.  She has already won a Golden Globe for her performance, and I would be shocked if she didn't win the Academy Award for which she's also nominated.  The film is also nominated for the Academy Award for best makeup, which was so realistic it was hard to believe it was simply makeup.  I did like the movie, and it's rekindled my interest in reading more biographies, though we'll see if I stick to that.

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