The Lady

"Very Good"

The Lady Review


The inspirational story of Aung San Suu Kyi comes to the big screen in the unlikely hands of Luc Besson, better known for mindless action like Taken and The Transporter. This is an emotionally involving film, with terrific central performances.

As daughter of Aung San, founder of independent Burma, Suu (Yeoh) has a place in her nation's heart. She lives in Britain with her Oxford-professor husband Michael (Thewlis) and their sons (Raggett and Woodhouse), and when she returns home to care for her ailing mother, she gets involved in the pro-democracy movement. This terrifies the military junta that rules with an iron fist, so they put her under house arrest just before the 1990 election that her party won in a landslide. Then the military refuses to cede power.

The film traces Suu Kyi's house arrest over the next 21 years, during which she was prevented from seeing her sons and her husband, even as he was dying of cancer in the late-1990s. During this time she won the Nobel Peace Prize (1991) and numerous other international citations, all while Burma's dictators violently suppressed peaceful protests and ignored global pressure. We've seen these shocking events in news headlines and in noted documentaries (see 2008's Burma VJ), so this film centres on Suu Kyi's emotional journey.

And this is what makes the film so engaging, as Yeoh and Thewlis bring a terrific blend of intelligence, humour and steely passion. Sure, both come across as rather saintly, despite half-hearted denials, but they emerge as raw, real people battling against the odds while sacrificing their personal happiness for something much bigger. In many ways Thewlis has the more accessible role as a man who struggles with what happens even as he understands his wife's commitment.

Besson holds the somewhat simplified plot together with sure-handed direction and a beautiful sense of the settings, both in Oxford and Rangoon (shot in Thailand). The contrast between these cities couldn't be more striking, and this highlights the warmth and intelligence of the Burmese people in the face of their government's bald-faced cruelty. But even though the political cause is worthy and inspiring, it's in the personal story that the film wins us over.



The Lady

Facts and Figures

Run time: 132 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 30th November 2011

Distributed by: Cohen Media Group

Production compaines: Mars Distribution, Siam Movies, Left Bank Pictures, France2 Cinéma, EuropaCorp., Canal+, France Télévision, Coficup, Backup Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 44

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Andy Harries, Virginie Silla, Jean Todt

Starring: as Aung San Suu Kyi, as Michael Aris, Jonathan Raggett as Kim Aris, Jonathan Woodhouse as Alexander Aris, as Karma Phuntsho, Susan Wooldridge as Lucinda Philips, Flint Bangkok as Nyo Ohn Myint, Guy Barwell as Military Policeman, Sahajak Boonthanakit as Leo Nichols, Antony Hickling as BBC journalist (voice)

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.