Film Review: Great Performances Nearly Save ‘The Lady’ From Remarkable Convention

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No votes yet Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – I love every decision made by the great Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis in Luc Besson’s historical biopic “The Lady” and yet I cannot recommend the film. It is a wild understatement to call the film conventional and those who did not know that it was from the director of such personality-heavy films as “La Femme Nikita” and “The Fifth Element” would never guess that the man behind it was anything more than a director for hire. To be fair, Besson does draw the best out of his two leads but “The Lady” is a film about an extraordinary woman. So why is it such an ordinary film?

Yeoh plays the legendary peacemaker, leader, and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, a woman who returned to Burma to care for her ailing mother at the same time that her homeland was undergoing remarkable upheaval. Rebels had taken over the country and were performing rights abuses and general horror on a regular basis. Aung San Suu Kyi became their leader because she was the daughter of Aung San, a former leader who was executed in 1947. In 1988, she becomes more than just a political leader, she becomes a social force for change and for good in her country.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Lady” in our reviews section.

Naturally, she had more than a few enemies. Not only was her life under constant threat but her decision to lead her people to freedom basically came at the expense of her home life. Her husband, author Michael Aris (Thewlis) had to stay in England with their sons and it wasn’t long before Suu Kyi was put under house arrest in Burma. She couldn’t go back to England to see her family for she knew that the military would never allow her back into the country that needed her so badly. She sacrificed everything for her people and for the cause of freedom around the world, becoming the first woman in Asia to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Lady” review.

“The Lady” stars Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. It was written by Rebecca Frayn and directed by Luc Besson. It is rated R and opens in limited release on April 13, 2012.

Blue Like Jazz
Blue Like Jazz
Photo credit: Sony Pictures

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