Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Maggie Smith is a wonder in the wildly amusing "The Lady in the Van"

A very unusual movie (and an overlooked one at the Oscars, if you ask me) about a woman living in her van in a driveway of a lonely writer in London for some 15 years. Maggie Smith is simply amazing in the title role as a woman who is too old, too bitter and too rude to be sociable at any level: her entire existence consists of sleeping and painting her numerous vehicles yellow. Alex Jennings is also good (in a dual role) as the playwright who is the only person to show this old wretch any kindness; one wonders had he not, would she have even lived as long as she had. It really is a wonder to behold Smith at her 81 years of age, and how she commands both compassion and resentment in every single scene she's in. Her character is so complex and marvelous to behold that it's a crime that not only the Academy failed to nominate her, but looking back at all the nominees now, she flat out should have WON! Ah, such is life. For the true fans of fine cinema - and even better acting - this movie should not be forgotten any time soon.

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