I love the Eddie Izzard bit where he talks about how old ladies only ever buy Hair Nets and Dog Food at the supermarket… ‘The hair thieves, come in the night, STEAL your hair, they do!’ Batty old ladies: never not funny.
7. The Lady In The Van (2015)
In 1973 London, playwright Alan Bennett develops an unlikely friendship with MissShepherd , a homeless woman who lives in a van in his driveway for the next 15 years. Hilarity ensues.
So, this isn’t by any means a bad film, but it’s not a great film. There’s a reason Maggie Smith is one of our National Treasures: the woman can say more with a raised eyebrow than you’d think possible. Alex Jennings does a great Alan Bennett impression, and there’s a lovely motif throughout the film of his duality: Bennett the Man and Bennett the Writer.
Downsides: it’s so fucking ENGLISH. It’s got Nick Hytner’s revoltingly sticky fingerprints all over it – for example, the entire History Boys cast crop up at one point or another – and the soundtrack is all ‘deedly dee jolly hockeysticks just look at us America we’re so eccentric and marvellous!’. There’s a beautiful story there and it just gets buried under layers and layers of chintz and oversentimenality. 6/10.