If cinema teaches us anything, it’s that being a buttoned-down type who’s a little fussy and easily agitated by strange occurrences is an affliction, and this disease is only curable through the intervention of a quirky outcast whose indifference to society’s rules allows others to emerge from their starched cocoons as slightly more relaxed butterflies.
Based on a true story, Lady in the Van stars Dame Maggie Smith as a semi-mystical hobo woman who parks her van in front of English playwright Alan Bennett’s house to use his bathroom (or “loo”) and ends up living in his driveway for 15 years. Playing against type as a transient who delivers unwanted-but-piercing insight instead of an aristocrat who delivers unwanted-but-piercing insight, Smith provides her usual sardonic delivery. Over the course of a decade and a half, will she transition from unwelcome oddity to beloved neighborhood sage? If this first, very comprehensive trailer is any indication, yes.