Maggie Smith plays a homeless woman who somehow talks actor/playwright Alan Bennett to allow her to park her decrepit van in his driveway. For 15 years this crusty, difficult woman lives her mysterious life outside Bennett’s house. She was once a nun. She once played piano at the Proms. Alan Bennett, cleverly portrayed by Alex Jennings, shows the duality of his live by appearing with a double: one Alan Bennett who “experiences” and another Alan Bennett who “writes.” Very cool. Learning the secrets of this peculiar woman’s life and Alan Bennett’s reactions makes The Lady in the Van a classic mystery. But, you’ll be able to solve it: all the clues are in plain view. This “mostly” true story is a delight. GRADE: B+
1. Miss Shepherd’s Waltz
2. Moving in
3. Two Women – Tango
4. Re-parking
5. In Care
6. The Neighbours
7. Special Paint
8. Collision and Confession
9. Piano Concerto No. 1 – Extract
10. The New Van
11. Broadstairs
12. Impromptu in Gb Major- Extract
13. Curtain Down
14. Alive and Well
15. Freewheeling
16. The Day Centre
17. A Sepulchre
18. Remembering Miss Shepherd
19. Walk through the Cemetery
20. The Ascension (Miss Shepherd’s Waltz)
21. Impromptu in Gb Major D.899, No.3, Op. 90 – Clare Hammond
22. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op.11, 2. Romance (Larghetto)
23. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op.11, 3. Rondo

15 thoughts on “THE LADY IN THE VAN

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    This has been on our list since I herd about it. I read Bennett’s short but fascinating book. Maggie Smith is perfect casting.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, the music of THE LADY IN THE VAN is all over the place. Different styles for different time periods. The story of the mysterious lady deserves this kind of music.

  2. maggie mason

    I’ll have to catch the movie on netflix. Leaving Wed. for LCC. Nancy’s mom has been ill and in and out of er’s. I’ve gone over several times to “momsit”, and she has hired help and has a cousin who has a vacation place in the same complex, so Nancy will be able to take a much needed break.

    One of the cd’s I’m taking for the trip is the sound track for De-lovely.

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, that soundtrack for DE-LOVELY is wonderful! I can relate to the “momsit” issues. In 2015 we couldn’t leave Diane’s mother alone. One of us would stay and the other would go shopping or the movies, etc. We finally found a nurse who would momsit so we could go out together, but that was just months before Diane’s mother died.

    1. george Post author

      Sergio, I thought Alan Bennett captured a lot of ideas in this movie: mysteries of the Past, the aging process, and conflict in communities. That’s a lot to deal with in a 90-minute comedy, but Bennett pulls it off.

  3. Wolf Böhrendt

    I’m wondering if a film like that will ever make it to Hungarian TV – my wife would surely enjoy it.

    Most films we get here are horrible translations of horrible US B, C, or D – class movies, by Asylum productions e g …
    But this is an English film, oh well – probably no chance!

      1. Wolf Böhrendt

        George, I don’t think it works here in Hungary – many internet systems ask/know about your geographic region. My wife’s son might know a way – but it would not be the same if I watch it in English and my wife can’t follow it …
        We usually watch films in Hungarian (with English subtitles for me, if available).

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