The Lady in the Van


The movie “The Lady in the Van” is such a good movie that I had to see it twice. Viewing it twice I came out feeling different then the first time that I viewed this movie. While both viewing experiences were good and enjoyable. The first time I viewed this movie I felt a little more melancholic after viewing this movie. There are some aspect of this movie that are sad but there are several light hearted moments sprinkled through out this movie.


This movie takes place in 1970's London. This movie has a very abrupt begging and throughs you into action almost immediately with a small car case of “A lady in a van”. This lady is played by no other then Maggie Smith. If you are familiar with her roll in Downton Abbey then this will be an entirely new dimension of Maggie smith then you are use to.


This story illustrates the last years of Mrs. Sheppard (Maggie Smith) life as she makes her way as a homeless woman. She makes her home in her van. Which is not too reliable which is how she meets the next character in this story who is a play write Allen Bennett (Allex Jennings). Mrs Sheppard employs Mr Bennett to help give her van a push because it will not start. From there she stumbles upon Allen's neighborhood. Where she plants her van and tries to live on the street of the suburb. Over time Allen eventually consent's to having Mrs. Sheppard park her van with in his driveway. This allowing her van to not be towed away.


This movie also show's the inner working of Allen's mind by showing two versions of him self. Through out this movie there are moments of dialog of just Allen talking to Allen. The movie is very clear to set up that there is always an Allen writing at his typewriter. Then there is the Allen that goes out and lives life.


At first viewing however I thought that there was a twin brother when I watched this film, but as the film progressed it became apparent that the double Allen was a method to view into the workings of Allen's through process.


This film very much likes to draw parallels. We have the two Allen's. But we also have the two old Ladies of the film. The second woman is Allen's Mother. Who's health is deteriorating through out the film. At Several points through out the films Allen wonders if the role of Mrs. Shepard and his mother are entwined some how or mixed up. Although he does not like the idea.


While this Film is told almost in entirely from Allen's perspective this movie is entirely about the woman in the van and her mysterious background.


As I have said before I have viewed this movie twice. Both times I thought it was an exceptional drama. One that had me tear up at times then laughing at others. This movie will really pull you through a wide range of emotions as you experience it. And what an experience this movie is. The Lady in the Van is a movie that I highly recommend you take the time to sit down and enjoy.