One of the few remaining mysteries about this year's Oscar race is The Iron Lady, the Meryl Streep-starring biopic of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. On the surface it seems like an awards slam-dunk, with the always perfect Streep playing a very famous person and all the historical importance you could ask for. But there's an X factor thanks to director Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Streep to huge box office success with Mamma Mia!, a movie that could charitably be called mediocre.

Now there's a UK trailer for The Iron Lady that finally gives a better sense of what the movie is doing, and maybe the biggest surprise is how good it looks. I'm not talking about the quality of the film-- it's hard to judge that from a trailer alone-- but the cinematography itself, which express Thatcher's unusual role as a female Prime MInister with some very creative shots. Take a look at that and Streep's performance in the trailer below.

Yes, there's a lot to chew on, as the trailer gets into Thatcher's relationship with her husband (played by Jim Broadbent), her political opponents, her experience starting wars, and even figuring out the kind of voice she'd use for public appearances. But if you were expecting an outright disaster-- and I admit, I kind of was-- this is a strong sign, and at least a much more competent looking movie than Mamma Mia!. The movie is being held for a very late December 30 release, so who knows when we'll start reading proper reviews and getting a better sense of what to expect. But I'm definitely a lot more encouraged having watched this trailer. How about you guys?

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