‘The Lady in the Van’ brings sunshine

Erik Calderon, Culture Editor

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‘The Lady in the Van’ is a film about an old lady living outside of the law trying to legally find a place to pass the rest of her days. The film is based on the true story of Mary Shepherd that lived in Alan Bennett’s driveway for 15 years.

The film opens in theaters on Feb. 19.  The picture is so well captured that you will feel like you are actually in the United Kingdom while watching this film. The bleak weather will lend itself to a feel of complete gloominess and despair.

The British comedic drama starts off in a horrific way. The shock sets the mood for the whole film, with a defining moment that introduces our main character.

Maggie Smith plays Miss Shepard, and gives an impressive performance. Even with the gloominess of the picture, she brings in all the sunshine you’ll need throughout the film. Miss Shepard is a homeless woman on the run from the law, living in a car completely within the requirements of the law.

Critic are giving Maggie Smith raving reviews. Even though they are all reviewing the film, ‘The Lady in the Van’, none of the reviews talked about the movie.  They all talked exclusively about Maggie Smith and her wonderful performance.

Alex Jenning plays Alan Bennett and gives an amazing performance throughout the film as a famous playwright and producer. Director Nicholas Hytner’s interpretation of the character in the story gives a surprising twist to the way we view talking to ourselves.

It’s fun getting to know him and how he comes up with the stories behind his plays. What’s even more interesting is that this film is based on the true story written by the real Alan Bennett.

‘The Lady in the Van’ film is written by Alan Bennett and is loosely based on the true story of Miss Shepherd and Alan Bennett, the playwright who writes stories based on true events. If that doesn’t make sense, remember that this is British humor.

The cinematography is exquisite, with wonderful wide shots, and strong, stable camera angles. This cinematography visually conveys who the characters are and what kind of life they lead.

The director’s interpretation of the story and his ability to choose actors and direct them to perform adds so much to this film. The humor—though dry and sometimes hard to get—makes this a lighthearted, enjoyable film.

It contains many qualities that we want to see in our lives and that we can relate to—like compassion, kindness, humor, love, tolerance and joy. Though this film might not be for the young crowd, I think that baby boomers will enjoy it.

‘The Lady in the Van’ is directed by Nicholas Hytner, written by Alan Bennett and stars Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings and Jim Broadbent. With a budget of $6 million, the film was shot entirely in the United Kingdom, and looked exactly like the set that was used for the film ‘Paddington.’

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