Spot on impersonation, but little else.
I've never seen a doc*mentary on Margaret Thatcher, but have seen a few snippets of footage, which is enough to ascertain that Meryl Streep did a spot on impersonation of her in this film. This wasn't surprising given Streep's talent, but not much range was explored with the character since you only get the very public outspoken Thatcher, and the private elderly Thatcher in this film. So while the impersonation is uncanny in voice, tone, and mannerisms, I still wasn't too crazy about the performance.
I wasn't intrigued by the film at all either. There was no real ongoing plot, just one random milestone after another depicted too briefly to become engaged with it. And given the film's runtime of 105 minutes--notably short for a film credited as a biopic--then it comes as no surprise that this film would have to rush through all the major events Thatcher faced, though at an unbearably slow pace, which given the amount of events covered is surprising. Basically the story is structured around the dementia suffering Thatcher in 2008 randomly recounting milestones and roadblocks in her career. Because of the amount they cover, they only give you the bare bones background information on the issues she faces, and don't really shed light on why she's a success or a failure, depending on your political opinion of her. Therefore, I wasn't engaged in the story as I myself am not too familiar with the domestic issues she faced. Ergo, I wasn't sure how to react to what she was doing; Positively because she was the first woman to hold the post and held it for the longest time in the twentieth century? Negatively since she may be doing a bad job depending on how you see it? I don't know. I especially can't judge the latter because of the lack of context to each challenge she faces. Though I'm leaning towards the former given the resume of the film's director Phyllida Lloyd who previously worked with Streep on "Mamma Mia!" (2008), given that story was also about the character's emotions instead of the context of the scenario.
To hold the narrative together is Thatcher's husband Denis whom Jim Broadbent plays rather playfully. He's full of good humor and is the best stress reliever Margaret can have. He's the real highlight of the film for me, and I enjoyed his performance better, as I liked his character more than Streep's. So basically Broadbent is who really kept me watching the film. It was too slow, boring, and off-putting given the lack of context to the events depicted. But he was only a supporting character, so he couldn't salvage my overall feelings about the film.
Overall, see it if you really love Meryl Streep, or are impressed with impersonations. Skip it if you're looking for your traditional biopic.