The Iron Lady

Musical Score By: Thomas Newman

Distributed by: Sony Music

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the movie, The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep portrays Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of Britain in the 20th Century.  The movie tells Thatcherís life through a series of flashbacks as she remembers her life from childhood to Prime Minister and the various obstacles she faced while holding that position. 

            The soundtrack of The Iron Lady was created by American composer Thomas Newman.  The Newman family is considered a film scoring dynasty.  Thomasí father Alfred Newman, brother David Newman, sister Maria Newman, uncle Lionel Newman and his cousins Joey Newman and Randy Newman are composers (Randy is also a singer).  Thomas Newmanís first major film score came in 1984 for the film Reckless.  Since then, his musical scores have seen great recognition and Thomas Newman has been nominated for several awards, including ten Academy Awards.  Some of his best known compositions are for films such as Erin Brockovich, American Beauty, Finding Nemo, The Good German and The Horse Whisperer.

            The music found on The Iron Lady Soundtrack is a mix of music that may have been heard during Margaret Thatcherís era and music created specifically to define the main character and the various stages of her life.  Thus, we find songs like Shall We Dance? from The King and I, Casta Diva from Norma, Soldiers of the Queen and Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846.  This music is meant to define the times.  Itís pieces like MT, Grocerís Daughter, Swing Parliament, Crisis of Confidence and The Difficult Decisions that are meant to define Margaret Thatcher herself.

            There are many pieces created for this film, like MT, which are short, leading me to believe that the filmís creators and the composer did not want the music to completely define the story.  Yet, there are some rather dramatic pieces that cannot be ignored, such as Crisis of Confidence, The Exclusion Zone and Steady the Buffs.  These orchestral pieces give us insight into Margaret Thatcherís life at some of the more pressing moments during her career.

            The Iron Lady Soundtrack is an enjoyable album featuring music one would expect to hear in a film about a prominent British figure, filled with pomp and circumstance, and music without that pomp that defines the character of Margaret Thatcher.  There are also highly enjoyable period pieces included to give the listener an idea of the music heard at various periods during Thatcherís life.  The Iron Lady Soundtrack does well to define the time period as well as the woman and the various situations she found herself in over the years.  As a stand alone album it is extremely enjoyable and highly recommended.


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