Based on the true story of Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a woman of uncertain origins "temporarily" parks her van in Alan Bennett's (Alex Jennings) London driveway and proceeds to live there for 15 years. What begins as a begrudged favour becomes a relationship that will change both their lives.
A beautiful portrayal
- The Lady in the Van review by AR
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You rated this film: 4
A most unusual story of utter simplicity, telling us that Alan Bennett's a man of real heart, and realised with consulate expertise and great sensitivity. And a lovely revisiting of gentler times in the still-recent past. And the Pythonesque end? A fitting culmination for someone who was living all her life in a cloud!
Seen at the cinema. Predictable stuff but Maggie Smith is always a joy to watch. Nobody does 'put down' expressions like her. Brilliant acting with the lady in tatty and soiled clothing still maintaining an air of dignity from an earlier lifestyle. Alex Jennings also exceptional as Alan Bennett.
A hugely disappointing, one-paced dirge of a film. I like Maggie Smith (who doesn't?) but even she couldn't save this. Essentially, what you get is the same scene regurgitated ad infinitum until a very silly ending. What are really little more than cameos from Jim Broadbent and Frances De La tour, are not enough to save this film.
Honestly, this could - and probably should - have been done in 15 minutes.