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Meryl Streep: 'Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer'

One of the tricky bargains that actors have to make when they choose to play a living person in a film, is that they’ll be forever inextricably linked to that figure. Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film The Iron Lady, and on news of her passing issued a heartfelt statement expressing her complicated admiration for the former Prime Minister.

Streep did not shy away from the fact that Thatcher was a divisive figure, noting her controversial policies. But the legendary actress also was unafraid to praise Thatcher’s “grit” and her important place in history. Streep wrote: “To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.”

Read the statement in full below.

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Oscar 2012 Behind the Scenes: How Meryl Streep became 'The Iron Lady'

One of the most astonishing elements of Meryl Streep’s Oscar nominated performance in The Iron Lady is how much the actress resembles former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. EW spoke with one-half of the film’s Oscar nominated makeup team, Mark Coulier, about how he collaborated with Streep and her longtime makeup artist J. Roy Helland* to come up with Streep’s look as Thatcher both in her political prime and in her later years as an 85-year-old woman struggling with dementia. (*Fun fact: Helland has been working with Streep for over 35 years, but this is his first nomination for an Academy Award.)  READ FULL STORY

British film studio that was home to 'Blade Runner' and 'The Iron Lady' to close

It is the end of an era in British filmmaking. Twickenham Film Studio — the 99-year-old suburban London sound stages that have played home to films like Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, and this year’s Oscar-nominated The Iron Lady and My Week with Marilyn — will be closed and sold by June of this year, reports the BBC. An official at the studio does not expect that any potential buyer for the facility will use it as a location for filming again.

Founded in 1913 on the site of a one-time ice rink, Twickenham was also where director Richard Lester shot Help and A Hard Day’s Night with the Beatles, and Michael Caine filmed his iconic comedy Alfie. Most recently, its wardrobe department and viewing theater were used in My Week with Marilyn (which co-stars Emma Watson), and scenes from The Iron Lady and War Horse were also shot on the soundstages.

The Academy Awards have undergone a sea change: They're no longer about the audience

A couple of weeks ago, based on the fact that The Artist, as it began to open across the country, didn’t exactly seem to be setting the box office aflame (I don’t mean when compared to Thor — I mean on the traditional indie-crossover circuit), I made an Academy Awards prediction. It had much in common with a lot of the Academy Awards predictions that people have been making recently, in that it was fearlessly wrong. I said that I thought The Artist had peaked, and that The Help would win Best Picture. That could still happen, of course, but at this point I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, or even a nice steak dinner. Despite its less-than-Richter-scale-rattling performance thus far, The Artist, as it racks up wins (the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild), is looking more and more like a classic Oscar juggernaut, a runaway awards train fueled by the metaphysics of the entertainment-media echo chamber, in which the relentless chatter about the “inevitability” of one movie winning becomes a big part of the reason that it inevitably wins. (It’s Access Hollywood meets the doctrine of predestination. Or maybe just the doctrine of Harvey.) READ FULL STORY

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