Cleaning Van.


Got some feedbacks from the Bat Soup review and I think I’m gonna keep these short here.

Summary: A woman lives in a van for 15 years in front of a dude’s house. They interact with each other.

So yeah, just watched The Lady in the Van and my thoughts?

I liked:
-the true story factor
I didn’t know it was a true story and it was a pseudo-true story at best. I loved the way they adapted Bennet’s memoirs. Having Jenning’s inner monologue actually show on screen was a good play on the whole ‘based on a true story’ thing. Furthermore, how the movie ends was a nice touch as well. This is how I like my ‘true story’ movies, an actual adaptation made to entertain. I seriously am sick of all these movies who  are just ‘adapatating’ the real life event and not thinking of the actual ‘entertainment’ factor of the movie.  I mean if I want to be educated in the ‘true event’, I’ll go read articles or watch a documentary, not a movie.

-the cast
Maggie Smith is crazy good here. Her commitment to the role is flawless and you really believe that she’s this woman living in a van for 15 years. Thankfully I’m not attached to the Harry Potter films so she wasn’t Professor McGonnagal for me here. I think it also helps that she’s played this character before so she definitely knows what’s she’s doing.
On the other hand, Alex Jenning’s foil to her crazy Margaret was pretty great. I really enjoyed his inner monologues and how he carried himself throughout the film.

-the themes/premise
I really enjoyed the growth that Jenning’s goes through. His view on Margaret is reflected onto his mother and the irony of it all is just sad and great at the same time. It’s not too clear as to why he bothers with it all but it’s a nice gesture that evolves over time and seeing their interaction is just fun and light-hearted but has some deep moments as well.

-the cinematopgrahy
It’s pretty simple. In terms of locales it just Jenning’s writing room and the street. It’s simple but it works. This here works on the characters and let’s you grow with them and experience things with them. So it really depends on if you buy the two actors. If you don’t this movie is not gonna be good to you. Why? Look below.

Potential issues:
this is a BBC production so it’s a British thing. People who watch this should have that in mind or else it’s gonna feel draggy comparative to American films. It does take a while for things to get started so you could say this is a slow burn but I would see it more so on the side of just a different type of pacing.

So there you have it. The Lady in the Van. I haven’t seen a British movie in a while so the change in pace was nice. It somewhat reminded me of Philomen’s pacing though, that movie was much faster and more easily engaging than this one. Here, things are slower and you need time to understand where the characters are coming from and to learn their reasons for struggles. Overall, I enjoyed this in a sense.


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