ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Lady in the Van Film Review

Updated on April 11, 2018
Actor
Character
Maggie Smith
Miss Sheppherd
Alex Jennings
Alan Bennett
Frances de la Tour
Mrs Vaughn Williams
Jim Broadbent
Underwood
Richard Griffiths
Sam Perry
Pandora Colin
Fiona Perry

About the film

Director: Nicholas Hytner

Producers: Nicholas Hytner, Damian Jones, Kevin Loader

Running time: 1 hr 44 mins

Genre: Genre, Comedy, Biography

Distributed by: Sony Picture Classics

Budget: $6,000,000


About the film

Written by Alan Bennett, The Lady in the Van is a 2015 film directed by Nicholas Hytner. Hytner had previously directed the 1999 stage play at The Queen's Theatre in London. The film is based on the true life events of Mary Sheppherd who was a homeless lady. She lived in her van for 15 years, which she had parked in Alans driveway all this time. Originally she had parked on the street, but after numerous run ins with the street wardens and local yobs giving her abuse, she took it upon herself to tell Alan it would be better if she had off street parking, and parked her van in his driveway, where she remained for the next 15 years. Unbelievable as it may soon, this is what happened. This unusual and unique friendship is brought to life in the film as we find out who Mary is.

The beginning of the film shows us Mary, real name Margaret Fairchild, accidentally knocking down a motorcyclist. Fearing she will be caught by the Police, she lives in her van fearing capture and arrest. Though the other residents grow to accept her eccentric ways, Mary does test their patience on many occasions. She comes acoss as an ungrateful and cantankerous old woman, never says thankyou and is often rude. Even though they bring her presents at Christmas time, she can come across as ungrateful and 'too busy' to want to accept these little tokens of kindness.

Though the film has parts in it which will make you laugh, just because it's the way Mary is, I feel the film has an underlying story. Clearly Mary Sheppherd is a troubled woman with a troubled past. Although she is, or at least was, a professional piano player at one time, her brother had her admitted to hospital after a breakdown. She tried to become a Nun once, but they wouldn't let her play the piano.

The film is (mostly) true, but there are parts of the film that are put in, to make it film worthy material. Based on the book written by Alan Bennett, the film tells us what life was like with Mary Sheppherd living on his driveway. It also tells us the unique bond these 2 unlikely individuals had. With run-ins with Camden Council, local yobs and Social Workers, we see how Miss Sheppherd was a head strong and ungrateful, rude old lady.

My Thoughts

I remember watching this film when it was first released in 2015, and have recently watched it again. I love this film. It just goes to show what an excellent actress Maggie Smith is when she can play someone like The Dowager in Downton Abbey, then playing a role like this. I think she portrayed Miss Sheppherd very well and it came across well on screen what an awkard and difficult woman she was. Although people tried to help her, from the residents on the street and Social Services, she was often thankless when they brought her gifts at Christmas time.

Saying that though, I think Alan Bennett kind of felt responsible for her as she was living in his driveway. His desk looked out to the driveway so he often has his eye on her. One other fact I liked about the film was you could see Bennetts other self. What I mean by this is you saw Alan as himself, and the other Alan who spoke to himself with other thoughts.

This is an enchanting story where the other residents of the streets tolerated her, even though she was a difficult woman. Alan Bennett tells the story well and conveys the story of Miss Bennett well. He describes how difficult she could be and the odd friendship they subsequently had from the years she lived in her van. This is an amusing, yet heart-warming film about a women with a colourful and secretive past that Bennett lets abide his driveway for so many years.

Flowers? What do I want with flowers? They... They only die. I've got enough on my plate without flowers.

— Miss Mary Sheppherd

The Lady in the Van Official Trailer

© 2018 Louise Powles

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • elle64 profile image

      elle64 

      4 months ago from Scandinavia

      I need to see that film

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      6 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes it's a great film, Flourish. I think you'd enjoy it. =)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 months ago from USA

      I’ve never heard of this movie but now you have me intrigued enough to go looking for it.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      6 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Lol, thanks Frank. Yes, I love Maggie Smith too. I loved her in the Harry Potter films.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      6 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes I agree Mary, her and Alan had a strange, but lovely relationship I think.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      I love Maggie Smith.. but I don't remember this film.. I loved her in all the westerns, Agatha Christie film, Titanic.. Harry Potters, I have to stream this movie.. thanks coffee for the coffee tip on what movie to watch... I hope I love it too

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed this movie so much. Maggie Smith is always a joy to watch but it is her developing relationship with Alan that warms the heart.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)