We are told at the beginning of The Lady in the Van that the story that we are about to see is based "mostly on a true story".
Based on playwright Alan Bennett's (Alex Jennings) own short story, this rather charming film, set in 70s North London, tells the story of Bennett's
relationship with a rather eccentric elderly lady who took up residence in a van, at the bottom of his garden.
Maggie Smith, who is in fine form, and must be a certainty for another BAFTA nomination, plays, the not very pleasant, in both smell and manners, Miss
When she turns up in Bennett's street and much to the distain of his rather posh neighbours, he offers her his driveway as a parking space for her camper
van. Only meant as a temporary stop over and despite the fact that she "smelt like the inside of an ear" Bennett's drive was to become her permanent home
for the next 15 years.
The more that Bennett gets to know his guest the more the story burst into life. Miss Shepherd might be cantankerous and unpleasant on the outside but
beneath the dirty clothes and the matted hair is a woman that has lived and experienced life to the full.
With a solid supporting cast that includes James Corden, Jim Broadbent and Frances de
la Tour, The Lady in the Van is a wonderful and touching film that come awards time will surely be at the top of the list when the awards are handed out.