Thatcher Movie Opens in Argentina to Tough Reviews


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Meryl Streep may have been nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," but Argentine critics panned the film during its premiere in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

The film opened in Argentine theaters amid a furor over the Falkland Islands, which Thatcher's Britain and Argentina fought a brief and bloody war over 30 years ago. In the movie, Thatcher is shown ordering Britain's military to sink the Argentine warship Belgrano, which killed 323 Argentine sailors and remains controversial because the ship was considered to be outside the war zone.

She also dismisses the entreaties of the American ambassador to settle the dispute peacefully, suggesting that as a woman, she's had to "go to war every day" to maintain her hold on power.

Reducing the war to a question of feminism "is absurd, to say the least," the daily Clarin wrote in Thursday's review.

Others praised Streep's acting, but panned the script as mediocre.

"A character so controversial for her own citizens, the citizens of the world and especially for Argentines, Thatcher deserves a better movie," huffed La Nacion.

Buenos Aires and London have escalated a war of words ahead of the anniversary of Argentina's ill-fated invasion of the islands on April 2, 1982. More than 900 soldiers and sailors were killed by the time Britain seized them back.

Britain has sent its most advanced warship, the HMS Dauntless, to the islands, as well as Prince William, an Air Force helicopter pilot, ahead of the anniversary.

Argentina's Vice President Amado Boudou said Thursday that Britain has falsely accused his South American country of threatening another invasion in order to distract Britons from their economic worries.

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