The Lady (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Lady2012

The Lady (2012)



Critic Consensus: Even as The Lady focuses on Aung San Suu Kyi's romantic life parallel to her political ascendancy, Luc Besson's saccharine direction is too concerned with deifying the Nobel Prize-winner for her humanity to actually shine through.

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Movie Info

The Lady is the extraordinary story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris. It is also the epic story of the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the core of Burma's democracy movement. Despite distance, long separations, and a dangerously hostile regime, their love endures until the very end. A story of devotion and human understanding set against a backdrop of political turmoil that continues today. The Lady was written over a period of three years by Rebecca Frayn. Interviews with key figures in Aung San Suu Kyi's entourage enabled her to reconstruct for the first time the true story of Burma's national heroine. -- (C) Cohen Media Group

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Michelle Yeoh
as Aung San Suu Kyi
David Thewlis
as Michael Aris
Htun Lin
as General Ne Win
Agga Poechit
as Than Shwe
Guy Barwell
as Military Policeman
Anthony Hickling
as BBC Journalist (Voice only)
William Hope
as James Baker
Teerawat Mulvilai
as Soldier/Bad News
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Critic Reviews for The Lady

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (24)

The Lady is a slog, a two-and-a-half hour, painted-on-wood exercise in political iconography.

April 27, 2012 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

"The Lady" is a two-hour trip into earnestness, from which audiences will want a little liberation of their own.

April 27, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The Lady is little more than a history lesson - although a beautifully presented one - wrapped in the pink gloss of a G-rated potboiler evidenced in Suu Kyi's and Michael's storybook romance.

April 26, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A heavy-handed attempt to sanctify one of the most dignified and uncompromising politicians and human rights champions of recent times.

April 20, 2012 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

[It] does indeed deal with a real life, but follows so faithfully the traditional shape of film biography that it feels less convincing.

April 19, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

An appropriately respectful and dignified biopic.

April 13, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lady

Although directed by hotshot cowboy Luc Besson this biographic about one of the leaders that took Burma to democracy nonetheless feels like many other bio-pics wherein the go-to points are gone to, and without a great deal of flair. If it's a history lesson one seeks, you could do worst, and immersion in the life another culture is always a good thing. The leads do admirably (always a fan of Yeoh, which is why I showed up, and she could use helming other work) but, as I said, the story only follows an overview of the lives involved, like a great many other biographies.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Besson turns this real story into a conventional, underwhelming movie and stretches it forever, but still Michelle Yeoh does her best to lend an aura of elegance and honor to a character that utters cheap soundbites all the time to justify her poorly developed actions.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

On the one hand, "The Lady" is a heartfelt biopic about Burmese democracy activist and Nobel Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi(Michelle Yeoh). As such, the movie is framed by three deaths: It is 1947, and her father, Aung San(Phoe Zaw), one of the founding fathers of Burma, is gunned down in cold blood by army soldiers. It is 1998 and her husband, Michael Aris(David Thewlis), an Oxford professor, has just been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He now has between five months and five years to live which as pointed out, should be enough time to settle his affairs. Except that she is stuck in Burma and if she leaves, she will not be able to return. It is 1988 and her mother(Marian Yu) has just had a serious stroke in Burma. That causes Aung San Suu Kyi to return to her native country from England, with her family not far behind her, just as democracy protests are kicking into high gear. On the other hand, while I respect the well-intentioned thoughts of "The Lady," crafting it as a romance and giving equal time to her husband do it little favor, making Aung San Suu Kyi almost a supporting player in her own story.(Therefore, David Thewlis' excellent performance ironically hurts the movie more than it helps.) Not to paraphrase "Man of Steel" anymore than I absolutely have to, but the far reaching and lasting peaceful movement for democracy in Burma is larger than all of these people. For the record, I don't mean to take anything away from the personal struggles of the dedicated Aung San Suu Kyi when I say that. But if one wanted to really give a sense of her isolation under house arrest, then a one woman show would have definitely been the way to go, assuming one cast the right actress.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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