Sunday, 6 March 2016

Film review: The Lady In The Van

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I have wanted to watch The Lady In The Van ever since I first saw the trailer a few months ago. I thought it seemed to be similar to another film Maggie Smith stars in called Keeping Mum. And if you haven't seen that film then I fully recommend it because it is absolutely hilarious. So, I was more than excited to watch this film, and I was not disappointed to say the least.

Maggie Smith plays a homeless woman called Miss Mary Shepherd who lives in the driveway of Alan Bennett's house. Bennett is a young play writer living in Camden on his own, and we see a lot of the film from his perspective watching Miss Shepherd from the window. The Lady In The Van follows the story of Bennett's strange friendship with this very eccentric homeless woman, and all the endless shenanigans that Miss Shepherd entails over the 15 year period she spent living outside Bennett's house. I must add that you will find yourself laughing at the rudeness of Smith's character, and you will see her in a whole new light during this film.
During the story, Bennett finds out that Miss Shepherd is in fact Margaret Fairchild, a woman who used to be a nun, an ambulance driver during the war, and a former very talented pianist. We also know that from the opening sequence, Margaret was involved in a hit and run incident many years ago where she left a young man for dead. Throughout the film Miss Shepherd dedicates a lot of her time praying for forgiveness for her past mistake and also by attending mass. This brings a sort of emotional element to the film as I began to feel empathy for Miss Shepherd and how she spent the rest of her days as a homeless woman living in a van.

What really made me laugh during the film was the really out-there things that Miss Shepherd would do, such as painting her van yellow for disguise and then when asked why by Bennett she would simply say "the Saint has told me to" and you will totally understand the hilarity of it when you watch the film. By the end of the film I really adored Miss Shepherd and it is all down to how Maggie Smith has portrayed her.

I would certainly recommend a watch, and hope it would have you giggling just as much as  I did. I would rate this film 8 out of 10.

Have you seen this film yet?

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