The Lady in the Van

Critics Consensus

Led by a marvelous performance from Maggie Smith, Lady in the Van wrings poignant, often hilarious insight from its fact-based source material.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 149

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,459

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Movie Info

In 1973 London, playwright Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) develops an unlikely friendship with Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a homeless woman who lives in a van in his driveway for the next 15 years.

Cast & Crew

Maggie Smith
Miss Shepherd
Alex Jennings
Alan Bennett
Frances de la Tour
Ursula Vaughan Williams
David Calder
Mr. Fairchild
James Corden
Street Trader
Dominic Cooper
Theatre Actor
Alan Bennett
Screenwriter
Christine Langan
Executive Producer
Ed Wethered
Executive Producer
Miles Ketley
Executive Producer
Charles Moore
Executive Producer
Andrew Dunn
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for The Lady In The Van

Critic Reviews for The Lady In The Van

All Critics (149) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (132) | Rotten (17)

  • She's not easy to love and the film is slow-going and a little laboured in its attempts to shape her idiosyncrasies into a plot, but the gradual revelation of the reasons for her decline give Smith plenty of opportunities to soften her grouchiness.

    March 4, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Bennett offers Maggie Smith a chance to renovate her own recent persona with a woman who's heroically alive. Smith takes it with both hands, giving us more of the loneliness and despair of old age than the glib comedy.

    March 4, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Jennings' portrayal isn't as flashy as Smith's - the things she can do with just a glance - but the balance they achieve is absolutely glorious.

    February 12, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • There's an elegiac, sentimental quality to this film adaptation, from the manipulative meet-cute of Alan and Miss Shepherd through their disputations.

    February 5, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • You leave "Lady in the Van" entertained but troubled; it's an agreeably but oddly off-balance film, juggling and nearly dropping the star turn at its center.

    February 4, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The joy of the film comes in watching Smith work her magic.

    February 4, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lady In The Van

  • Jun 07, 2016
    http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/the-lady-in-van-dir-nicholas-hytner.html
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2016
    Lady In The Van is the true story of a woman who lives on a man's driveway for 15 years. Sounds boring? Quite the opposite! This is an entertaining sweet film that actually has some funny moments as well some sadder times. Maggie Smith delivers yet another fantastic performance, let's face it she can do no wrong! I did however find that the majority of the film was rather forgettable and felt like the film was just abit too sweet for my taste. The script was decent though and that prevented the film from being a disaster.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 2016
    The biggest problem with this witless, excruciating movie is that it feels almost impossible to have any sympathy for such an odious old lady (is she supposed to be adorable in her annoying eccentricity? I can't tell), and I couldn't wait to see her die so it would be finally over.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2016
    An elegant and amusing drama. This sweet movie is slow but the wonderfully talented Smith carries it through to the end!
    Film C Super Reviewer

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