Have you ever asked yourself when you were passing by a homeless person, or maybe someone who lives in a van the reason why he or she lives outside or in the van? Those kind of questions are always filled with dark mystery or secrets we may never find out. However, in Nicholas Hytner’s The Lady in the Van, played by magnificent, incomparable and true legend Maggie Smith, you will meet an adorable, sweet and absolutely charming old lady who has lived in a van for the last fourteen years. But why she does that, and what is the purpose of sentencing herself to live like a homeless person is an answer you need to find out yourself.
When the movie begins, we find our lady in Camden town, London, in the year 1970. She has a mobile home parked at Mr Bennett’s driveway. But the relationship which begins between the two starts forming an unexpected bond that will make him wonder why an educated woman who’s fluent in French and plays piano has no home? But does it really matter when she already feels safe and no longer alone when she has someone in her life like Mr. Bennett?
As the film progresses you will find Miss Shepherd is very hilarious and manipulative lady in a very adorable way. She seems aware of her position but takes advantage of it, clearing her path and park her van wherever she wants. It’s quite fun seeing how Maggie Smith manages to play Miss Shepherd in such an extraordinary way. Some scenes are so brilliant that you wish to re-watch it again.
In conclusion, The Lady in the Van is one of those films that will enchant you from the beginning with a brilliantly written script, superb performance and a lovely score. And by the time you finish watching it, you won’t be the same person again.