Director: Nicholas Hytner
Starring: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Frances de la Tour, Roger Allam, Jim Broadbent
Based on actual events Alan Bennet (Alex Jennings) actor, writer and human observer allows a homeless woman, Miss Shepherd (Dame Maggie Smith) to spend 15 years living in a battered and unsanitary old van parked in his suburban London driveway. The cantankerous, bossy, manipulative, and secretive, old itinerant makes his life difficult as he wrestles with his aging mother and his own ineptitude. Their relationship and unfolding events inspired the writer to compose a short memoir in 1989. Then a decade later a West End play, followed by a radio adaptation, and eventually this film. Fabulous portrayal of Bennet by Alex Jennings is matched by a par excellent performance of Margaret (or is it Mary?) Shepherd by Dame Maggie Smith. Full supporting cast of UKs cream of character actors led by Frances de la Tour and Roger Allam make this mystery comedy/drama a most enjoyable watch.