The Lady In The Van (2015)
Critic Consensus: Led by a marvelous performance from Maggie Smith, Lady in the Van wrings poignant, often hilarious insight from its fact-based source material.
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as Miss Shepherd
as Alan Bennett
as Alan Bennett
as Street Trader
as Mrs. Vaughn Williams
as Theatre Actor
as Jehovah's Witness
as Fiona Perry
as Giles Perry
as Leo Fairchild
as Housekeeper At Convent
as Miss Briscoe - Social Worker
as Lois - Social Worker
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Critic Reviews for The Lady In The Van
She's not easy to love and the film is slow-going and a little laboured in its attempts to shape her idiosyncrasies into a plot, but the gradual revelation of the reasons for her decline give Smith plenty of opportunities to soften her grouchiness.
Bennett offers Maggie Smith a chance to renovate her own recent persona with a woman who's heroically alive. Smith takes it with both hands, giving us more of the loneliness and despair of old age than the glib comedy.
Jennings' portrayal isn't as flashy as Smith's - the things she can do with just a glance - but the balance they achieve is absolutely glorious.
There's an elegiac, sentimental quality to this film adaptation, from the manipulative meet-cute of Alan and Miss Shepherd through their disputations.
You leave "Lady in the Van" entertained but troubled; it's an agreeably but oddly off-balance film, juggling and nearly dropping the star turn at its center.
Audience Reviews for The Lady In The Van
The biggest problem with this witless, excruciating movie is that it feels almost impossible to have any sympathy for such an odious old lady (is she supposed to be adorable in her annoying eccentricity? I can't tell), and I couldn't wait to see her die so it would be finally over.
An elegant and amusing drama. This sweet movie is slow but the wonderfully talented Smith carries it through to the end!
Is it possible that all the pieces of a work come together beautifully and still the work is "meh?" Based on a true story of a homeless woman who parked and lived in a guy's driveway for 15 years, everything is well done here. It's inventive as all get out. And yet ... nothing explodes in your face. Is that even a criticism? I loved it, but ...
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