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Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett, Jonathan Woodhouse, Susan Wooldridge ... see more see more... , Benedict Wong , Htun Lin , Agga Poechit , Guy Barwell , Sahajak Boonthanakit , Anthony Hickling , William Hope , Teerawat Mulvilai

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. De... read more read more...spite 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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63% liked it

6,595 ratings


33% liked it

66 critics

R, 2 hr. 25 min.

Directed by: Luc Besson

Release Date: April 13, 2012

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DVD Release Date: October 2, 2012

Stats: 282 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (282)

  • March 13, 2013
    Really good biodrama. Before viewing this film, I had little understanding of her background, and even less understanding of the history of Burma over the past fifty years. Really well done. Not the fastest pace ever, but still a very interesting story about a remarkable lady...
  • May 8, 2012
    Luc Besson is a great director but this film lacks the passion it deserves. I'm afraid he has done Aung San Suu Kyi a great injustice by making a half-hearted biopic of her life. Unless of coarse it was his intention of making a film about the life of her husband, then he did a p... read moreretty good job as David Thewlis's Michael Aris took up most of the film - the camera often hanging on him for embarrassing lengths of time for a credible director. For all the great moments in this film, and there are a few, there are three times as many pointless, ill-conceived and ridiculous ones. I love David Thewlis but Besson does not get his potential out of him, the two actors playing their sons can act for candy and poor Michelle Yeoh isn't given the chance to play, what could have been, the performance of her life. For what little screen time she is given, she does a great job but what Aung San Suu Kyi did for Burma is barely hinted at in this mess of a film.
  • December 17, 2011
    Besson proves he is not the proper director for a subject like this, turning a real story into a conventional, underwhelming movie and stretching it forever. Still, Michelle Yeoh does her best to confer an aura of elegance and honor to a character that utters cheap soundbites eve... read morery time to justify her poorly developed actions.
  • March 12, 2014
    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 ... read moregunned 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.
  • July 19, 2012
    I admit, I have a soft spot for Michelle Yeoh because she is Malaysian, but "The Lady" works because of her portrayal of Aung San Suu Kyi. She manages to convey the poise and strength, and captures every nuanced action and motivational speech prowess of Suu Kyi, amidst a weak ada... read moreptation of the true inspiring story of Burma's democratic fighter. "The Lady" extends a little too long but with its cinematography and Yeoh's capabilities, it is worth a watch.
  • September 23, 2013
    Focussing on the love story more than the politics was a bad idea.
  • December 21, 2012
    "The Lady" is simply the best political biopic I've seen since "Gandhi". Michelle Yeoh really embodies the spirit of Lady Suu Kyi. As a fellow Southeast Asian, I am happy that the Burmese people are given political voice through this movie.
  • ThomasJayWilliams
    November 2, 2012
    A sloppily made biographical film that is supposed to be about Nobel Peace Prize winning Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh - Crouching Tiger, Sunshine), a political figure placed under house arrest for 15 years in a turbulent phase of Burma's (aka Myanmar) recent history although i... read moret lacks any passion with which to do the subject justice. While Yeoh gives a good performance, most of the remaining cast is barely passable including that of her long-suffering husband Michael Aris (David Thewlis - Harry Potter, Seven Years in Tibet). The film feels disjointed and although it spans the 15 years of her house arrest it isn't fluid and is rather choppy (surprising considering the director is Luc Besson). While I believe Aung San Suu Kyi is a remarkable individual of the human race, the film is rather heavy-handed which is unfortunate because this shouldn't feel pretentious. It oftentimes does ... and I don't think this would inspire anybody to seek out her real history and work -- and that is a shame. This film fails because of that.
  • June 29, 2012
    A look at history that I never knew about. It was long and took awhile to get to the point, but it was still interesting and beautiful. I found it hard to believe that Besson was the director for something with this screenplay. I enjoyed watching it on the plane.
  • May 1, 2012
    Luc Besson doing a non-fic histo-political biopic? with the lead-lady's fiance, former Ferrari chief, FIA prez Todt as a producer!?! I came into the cinema trying to eradicate as many stereotypic biases as possible, and emerged, less apathetic, and more sympathetic towards the pl... read moreight of the unjustly-treated, sociopolitically-suppressed and downtrodden in the nation, region & world. Yeoh & Thewlis turn in a stellar performance. However I found the aspect ratio (& melodrama) of the film a tad stretched.

Critic Reviews

Liam Lacey
April 27, 2012
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

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

John Anderson
April 27, 2012
John Anderson, Newsday

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

Linda Barnard
April 26, 2012
Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

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. Full Review

Adam Bernstein
April 20, 2012
Adam Bernstein, Washington Post

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

Roger Ebert
April 19, 2012
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

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

Colin Covert
April 13, 2012
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

This hagiography of Myanmar's Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, is earnest, civilized and borderline unendurable. Full Review

Kyle Smith
April 13, 2012
Kyle Smith, New York Post

An appropriately respectful and dignified biopic. Full Review

Mick LaSalle
April 13, 2012
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

"The Lady" is a portrait in moral and physical courage, a sort of analysis of what constitutes greatness. Full Review

Joe Morgenstern
April 12, 2012
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

The screen version falls afoul of a laggardly pace, an earnest tone and a surfeit of domesticity. Full Review

Soren Anderson
April 12, 2012
Soren Anderson, Seattle Times

Yeoh is perfectly cast. Slender and graceful, her physical resemblance to Suu Kyi is remarkable. Full Review

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    • General Ne Win: When her father was killed, he became a great martyr. We can't risk her becoming one too.
    • Soldier/Bad News: I wear the red scarf and I have the right to kill you.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi: The art of people is a true mirror of their mind.
    • Michael Aris: Hope, how we all cling to hope.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi: Please use your liberty to promote ours.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi: You may not think about politics, but politics think about you.

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