“The Lady in the Van”: Alan Bennett remembers the woman who never left

THE LADY IN THE VAN

THE LADY IN THE VAN

“The Lady in the Van” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. PG-13, 1:44, three stars out of four.

What would possess a man to not only help a homeless person, but to let that person live on his property for 15 years? Heroism? Selfessness? Generosity?

Timidness, Alan Bennett insists.

The British playwright and essayist really let a homeless woman park her van in his driveway for 15 years. He turned the experience into a play and now a movie, “The Lady in the Van,” in which the dyspeptic Bennett (played to a T by Alex Jennings) recoils at the notion that he’s being kind “It’s just easier,” he insists almost defensively to a neighbor. “It’s not kindness.” Sure.

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“My Old Lady”: What’s the matter with Paris?

my-old-lady-maggie-smith

“My Old Lady” is now playing at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:47, three stars out of four.

What is going on with Paris in the movies? Once the go-to destination for lovers looking to rekindle that spark, the City of Lights has gotten a little dark lately. “Le Week-End” advertised itself as a fizzy romantic comedy about a sixty-something couple on a romantic getaway, but the movie itself was a turbulent cavalcade of arguments and regrets in which the couple barely got away unscathed. “Frances Ha” sent its protagonist to Paris for a wild weekend, only for her to have a miserable time, culminating in going alone to see “Puss in Boots” at a Paris movie theater.

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