|THE LADY IN THE VAN (director: Nicholas Hytner; screenwriter: Alan Bennett/play by Alan Bennett; cinematographer: Andrew Dunn; editor: Tariq Anwar; music: George Fenton; cast: Maggie Smith (Miss Mary Shepherd), Jim Broadbent (Underwood), Alex Jennings (Alan Bennett), James Corden (Street Trader), Frances De La Tour (Mrs Vaughan Williams ), Roger Allam (Rufus), Deborah Findlay (Pauline); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Kevin Loader, Nicholas Hytner, Damian Jones; Sony; 2015-UK)|
|"It's fun watching the great Maggie
Smith take on this eccentric role."
by Dennis Schwartz
Hytner ("Phedre"/"The History
Boys"/"Center Stage") directs the crowd-pleasing
dramedy from Alan Bennett's true experience play, that
also starred Maggie Smith.
driveway of celebrated playwright Alan
Bennett's North London upscale artist
enclave, Camden Town crescent, the
grouchy upper-crust vagrant Mary Sheperd (Maggie
Smith) decides to make her makeshift home by living
there in his driveway in her rundown van. The
eccentric Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings), said nothing
in 1973 when she moved in, and it went on for 15
years. The exhausting experience has the homeless lady
leave her shit in plastic bags for the home owner to
fun is in watching Maggie pull out all her stops in
portraying this anti-social creature who hates
liberals, children and classical music. The story is
slight, the truth at times seems questionable, the
cutesy antics could get tiresome, but it's fun
watching the great Maggie Smith take on this eccentric
Broadbent plays a blackmailer of Maggie, in a part
that throws the film off its mark and brings its final
act to a screeching halt.
REVIEWED ON 3/27/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ