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November 24, 2014

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Film review: ‘The Lady’

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Michelle Yeoh is under the gun(s) in The Lady.

The Details

The Lady
Two and a half stars
Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Woodhouse
Directed by Luc Besson
Rated R
Beyond the Weekly
IMDb:The Lady
Rotten Tomatoes: The Lady

French filmmaker Luc Besson is certainly not the first person you’d expect to direct a somber biopic about Burmese peace activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Besson is best known for slick spectacles like La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element, yet he brings minimal stylistic flair to The Lady. Instead he plods through a pretty conventionally told story, focusing on the time after Suu (Michelle Yeoh) returned to Burma from abroad in 1988 and became a leader in her country’s democracy movement. The Lady is nearly as much about Suu’s British professor husband (David Thewlis) as it is about the title character, but their marriage never feels as vibrant or urgent as Suu’s political crusade. That crusade is a little muted as well, and Yeoh gives an aloof performance that doesn’t quite get to the heart of Suu’s motivations. Besson hits familiar biopic beats, but the formula could have used something a little more daring to liven things up.

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