Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Movie Review: The Lady in the Van *Spoiler Free*

If you're a Maggie Smith fan then The Lady in the Van should not disappoint.

This 'mostly true' tale tells the story of the time real life writer, Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings), crossed paths with a transient, homeless van lady, Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), who eventually moved her van into his driveway for a number of years.


Maggie Smith is charming playing the eccentric Miss Shepherd. Despite the characters cantankerous nature I never found her unlikable but I could imagine her daily imposition would certainly be very testing on many occasions.

Alex Jennings carries the film well with the story being told from Alan Bennett's point of view. He's very believable as the kind of guy who has just enough inner strength to speak his mind when frustration gets the better of him but not enough ignore his empathy for Miss Shepherd's situation.

The rest of the cast do a great job with minor but still relatively important roles that help define Miss Shepherd and Alan Bennett's within the broader community as well as tell Miss Shepherd's backstory.

Aside from the character relationships the film does a great job of teasing Miss Shepherd's past right from the get go without revealing too much each time. I was never too caught up in wanting to know her backstory but it does add another layer to the film and was interesting each time you learnt a little more. It also helps to explain certain moments in the present adding a more weight and making them a little more poignant.

In terms of comedy The Lady in the Van is occasionally laugh out loud funny but isn't particularly trying to be funny unless the laughs are organic to the story. I found it had a good balance between humorous, thoughtful and reflective moments without ever becoming a particularly sad story.

My only real criticism is that I felt the movie was a little slow in places, but never for long enough to feel like it was dragging (keep in mind I usually prefer watching sci-fi and superhero movies).

Overall, a very enjoyable film with two really strong characters that make for an engaging story. Even if you're not familiar with Maggie Smith you'll still enjoy this well told tale.

Comments

  1. I hope to go and see this before it disappears. I've seen the trailer on the 'net. The man playing Alan Bennett does a good job, as he sounds just like him with the accent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Went to see this last Weds 6th April. It was an enjoyable film but I think I'll comment on it on our Family Message board incase I might reveal too much.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments not directly related to the post will be deleted. This includes spammy generic comments with links to websites not related to the post.


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on he…

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured).

At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop, Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self. As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside.

Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme, was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2, because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below.



My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went nowhere on the char…

What If Being Yourself Isn't Good Enough?

One of my most personal public videos is a collection of outtakes edited together with my narration, read word for word, from my blog post written back on August 5th, 2007 titled Is Being Me Good Enough? I made the similarly titled video the next day.

At the time the video (which you can view below) generated some discussion in the comments and was a real turning point for me personally in how I thought about myself and how I presented on camera. It took a weight off my shoulders.


[Note that especially for this article I've re-edited and re-uploaded the video to Youtube because the last sentence on the original version was cut off by Youtube's uploader. The new version is identical other than I've added a title screen at the beginning and cropped the footage for 16:9 ratio - plus added some length to the end to ensure it doesn't get the last line cut again.]

I came to be thinking about this video again because of my latest video diaries - which I will be the first to a…

"You are the Generation that bought more shoes..."

"You are the generation that bought more shoes, you get what you deserve." This quote is a song lyric that I heard on the radio (my apologies to the writer and artist that it belongs too because I don't know who either of you are). It's a great line and I can only assume it refers to the apparent lack of interest today's eighteen to twenty somethings appear to have in more serious and deeper issues.

Not that I'm trying to hold myself up as someone who campaigns strongly for the greater good of human kind or that I spend significant amounts of time raising awareness of important issues. I'm certainly not a poster boy for changing the attitudes of people with too many shoes but lyrics like that do make you think.

It's at this point that I really don't know where to go with this article. Should I focus on the material nature of modern society and its obsession with having more stuff? Or should I mention a few important issues, like Human Rights Abuses,…

Multiculturalism, Muslims and Australian Immigration

Recently a friend sent me (and a number of others on their email list) the following chain email, that has been circulating around Australian email boxes, asking for my opinion on the message.

Just before you read it I'll pre-warn you that it relates to immigration laws and ideas that I'm sure many countries are grappling with in this post 911 world.

I've reproduced the email as closely as I can to how I received it, complete with large typeface. Have a read and then read my response. The email is titled 'Go the Dutch'. The comment in red is by the last person to forward the email to my friend.


About time the Australian government did the same......why do we suck up to these people whose "values" are from beyond the dark ages ,who still live the way they did 2000 years ago. 

Go the Dutch - but why wait until 2013?

The Netherlands, where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, isscrapping multiculturalism:

The Dutch government says it will abandon the l…

Momentary pauses in cyberspace...

I got to thinking about blogs and the fact that anyone can leave a comment to my posts. When someone comments, the polite thing to do is to respond with a comment under theirs. This may prompt an additional comment but really that person has no real intention of in depth discussion. They're just passing through.

It's a lot like walking down the street with a complete stranger approaching from the opposite direction. Your intention is to simply pass them by but as you come within talking distance the stranger says 'Hi, nice day isn't it.' Like they needed to share that little highlight of information to brighten your day too.

You can smile and nod in agreement, or go so far as to say 'Yes isn't it' whilst passing by without so much as a break in stride. It's all that is required to be polite.

Sometimes though, you want a bit more from your stranger. Why did they decide to say 'Hi' to you? Unfortunately you can't back track and ask your stran…