Movie: The Lady in the Van

A very British movie which I doubt could be made anywhere else, combining as it does that English reserve with a similarly English tolerance of eccentricity. The technique of double narrators captured well Bennett’s ambivalence and archness. I was disappointed that it descended into whimsy in the last scenes, though. Perhaps I should have left three minutes before the end.

5 responses to “Movie: The Lady in the Van

  1. Have you read the book (well long essay really)? I’ve read the book, listened to the BBC dramatisation (with Maggie Smith and Alan Bennett speaking) (and blogged these), and have now seen the film. You’ve said exactly what I said – only in England, that particular blend of reserve and eccentricity. O’ve forgotten the whimsy at the end! What was it? Something about selling the house?

  2. By sweet chance I saw the flick today at the Rivoli. I had read the book years ago, but memories of details had faded. Yes, very British, and if it were not for Maggie Smith, whom they adore, I doubt an American audience would find it entertaining. By whimsy, did you mean the blue plaque ceremony, with the real Allan Bennett cycling up?

    • No, (and this is a response to Sue as well) it was the Terry Gilliam-esque animations about heaven at the end. I quite enjoyed seeing the real Allan Bennett, but I felt the animation was gratuitous.

  3. On my to see list. Hope it’s still around when school holidays are over.

  4. artandarchitecturemainly

    I thought the same (about Americans) when I saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – a super film. But which Americans, or which teenagers for that matter, would want to see an eccentric film about middle aged and elderly people?

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