6.7/10
18,638
86 user 155 critic

The Lady in the Van (2015)

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1:59 | Trailer

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A man forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman living in her van that's parked in his driveway.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (memoir)
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Popularity
4,043 ( 553)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Underwood
Clare Hammond ...
Young Margaret Fairchild
George Fenton ...
Conductor
BBC Concert Orchestra ...
The British Symphony Orchestra
...
Jamie Parker ...
Estate Agent
...
...
Richard Griffiths ...
Sam Perry
Pandora Colin ...
...
Giles Perry
...
Actor
Giles Cooper ...
Passer by
Tom Klenerman ...
Tom Perry
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Storyline

The Lady in the Van tells the true story of Alan Bennett's strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her temporarily to park her Bedford van in the driveway of his Camden home. She stayed there for 15 years. As the story develops Bennett learns that Miss Shepherd is really Margaret Fairchild (died 1989), a former gifted pupil of the pianist Alfred Cortot. She had played Chopin in a promenade concert, tried to become a nun, was committed to an institution by her brother, escaped, had an accident when her van was hit by a motorcyclist for which she believed herself to blame, and thereafter lived in fear of arrest.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A mostly true story


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG - 13 for a brief unsettling image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

26 February 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dama iz dvorišta  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,256,121 (United Kingdom), 15 November 2015, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$175,280, 22 January 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,017,675, 5 June 2016
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adapted by Alan Bennett from his own 1999 stage play and 2009 BBC Radio 4 drama both of the same name. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene the windshield was cracked and had a blood stain. This cracked area and blood stain were much smaller than they were for the rest of the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alan Bennett: [typing] The smell is sweet, with urine only a minor component, the prevalent odor suggesting the inside of someone's ear. Dank clothes are there, too, wet wool and onions, which she eats raw. Plus, what for me has always been the essence of poverty, damp newspaper. Miss Shepherd's multi-flavored aroma is masked by a liberal application of various talcum powders, with Yardley's Lavender always a favorite. And currently it is this genteel fragrance that dominates the second subject, ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

During the first part of the credits, a young Margaret can be seen playing the piano at her concert in King's Hall. See more »

Connections

References Keeping Mum (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto 1
Written by Frédéric Chopin (as Frederic Chopin)
[The principal piano piece that recurs throughout the film is Chopin's Piano Concerto 1, using both the slow middle (second) movement "romanza" and the quick final (third) movement "rondo". Alfred Cortot was especially associated with playing Chopin's piano oeuvre.]
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User Reviews

 
Maggie Smith never disappoints
22 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

Maggie Smith never disappoints. She is such an amazing actress and continues to be in "The Lady in the Van." Such an interesting true story of a very odd woman, this film is very endearing. The chemistry between Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings is very enjoyable to watch. Their relationship had a sort of codependency between them that was really fueled by a real caring for each other for different reasons. Director Nicholas Hytner did a great job of portraying the comedy found in this story. And that is due to the great acting of Maggie Smith, whom I cannot say enough about. Her recent Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Comedy was well deserved and although she didn't take home the trophy, her performance is still one to be heavily applauded.


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