The Lady in the Van

A new review from The Movie Snob.

The Lady in the Van  (B).  The redoubtable Maggie Smith (TV’s Downton Abbey) stars in the title role in this British import.  An introverted playwright named Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings, The Queen) has bought a townhouse, and he soon meets neighborhood fixture Miss Shepherd (Smith).  She’s an eccentric, excitable, and malodorous homeless woman who lives in a decrepit old van that she occasionally moves up or down the street.  The neighbors, being normal people, don’t really want her around, but, also being liberals, they can’t bear to run her off either.  Somehow she eventually gets Bennett to let her park in his driveway, and there she stays–for the next 15 years.  And apparently this is based on a true story!  We get bits and pieces of Miss Shepherd’s backstory, which, as to be expected, is not a particularly happy one.  Good performances, but the story is a bit slight and certainly a bit sad.

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2 comments on “The Lady in the Van

  1. […] filmmakers cut out some choice exchanges between Umbridge and Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van) that were in the book, but then it was probably necessary because the book was quite long. I […]

  2. […] the very spooky film The Witch: A New-England Folktale.  Maggie Smith is a force of nature in The Lady in the Van.  Tina Fey gives a nice performance as a journalist in over her head in Afghanistan in Whiskey […]

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