The Lady in the Van

Watch The Lady in the Van

"A mostly true story"
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 6.7  (31,752)
  • 70

The Lady in the Van is a 2015 British comedy-drama film, directed by Nicholas Hytner and written by Alan Bennett, based on Bennett's memoir of the same name. The film stars Maggie Smith, playing the titular character, as well as Alex Jennings and Jim Broadbent. The Lady in the Van tells the story of an eccentric woman named Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith) who lives in a battered old van and parks it in the driveway of the house of writer Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings). The film is set in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and is based on a true story.

Miss Shepherd is a proud, cantankerous woman with a secretive past that she guards fiercely. Despite her difficult personality and unapproachable demeanor, Alan takes pity on her and allows her to park her van in his driveway temporarily. However, much to his surprise, Miss Shepherd stays parked there for 15 years. With time, Alan and Miss Shepherd develop an unexpected bond, leading to a deep and poignant friendship that lasts until the end of her life.

The Lady in the Van explores themes of friendship, aging, and loneliness, as well as delving into the complexities of memory and identity. Maggie Smith delivers a standout performance as Miss Shepherd, perfectly capturing the character's idiosyncrasies and inner turmoil. Alex Jennings portrays Alan Bennett with a charming understated quality that makes it impossible not to empathize with his character. Jim Broadbent gives the film a comedic lilt with his performance as a neighboring eccentric man, Mr. Fairchild.

The film's director, Nicholas Hytner, who previously collaborated with Bennett on The History Boys, expertly balances moments of humor and poignancy. This is aided by the film's stunning cinematography, which beautifully captures the iconic streets of North London.

Overall, The Lady in the Van is a touching and humorous film that will leave audiences feeling both uplifted and contemplative. It serves not only as a portrait of an unusual friendship but also as a tribute to those who society often overlooks or dismisses as being strange or difficult. The Lady in the Van is a must-see for anyone who loves character-driven films.

The Lady in the Van is a 2015 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 70.

The Lady in the Van
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (31,752)
  • Metascore