“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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