Review: The Lady in the Van

It is very rare that my wife ever wants to go to the movies with me, so whenever she suggests that we see something together, I don’t ask any questions. The big reason that she wanted to see this was because of Maggie Smith, and aside from my wife being a big Harry Potter fan, we are both big Downton Abbey fans.


The Lady in the Van is quite a pleasant movie to watch. It has a lot of the charm and subtlety that’s found in most British movies, often so subtle that I did not pick up certain things until I thought about it for a while (… or had my wife explain them to me).


But aside from being a nice, quaint British movie, this is also very well performed. Maggie Smith is probably one of the most exceptional actors working today, and considering I am mainly use to her being the stuck up dowager of Downton, it was quite interesting to see her transform into a mentally insane homeless woman. Not only that, but the movie does a good job with adding layers upon their two main characters.


The other main character being Alex Jenning’s character, the (possibly) schizophrenic playwright who cannot make up his mind. The script does a very good job at making you care about these two emotionally and mentally damaged characters despite the fact that they are both losing it throughout the movie.




This film is a bit slower than most movies I watch. As surprised as I am typing this, there were a few times where I felt like The Lady in the Van was dragging along, and I have quite a high tolerance for “slow scenes” in a movie. Oftentimes, I also questioned if the movie was really presenting something truly at stake for me to care about (in the grand scheme of things I mean. I definitely cared about the two lead characters). However, the humor and the performances in this film make up for both of these downsides.


This film is definitely worth checking out. I think I’ll be watching this a second time if I get the chance. I want to see if I catch anything that I didn’t catch the first time. This movie definitely deserves more attention than its getting, and I’m giving this movie a 7 out of 10.