My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 15

Yep, I’m still behind on everything. Nope, it doesn’t look like I’ll be catching up any time soon. Yep, it’s starting to annoy me. Here’s what I watched this week:

The Lady in the Van (2015)
LadyVan
Maggie Smith plays a woman who, well, lives in a van. She parks it in a well-to-do street in Camden, much to the annoyance of many of the residents, and eventually moves it onto the driveway of Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings), where she stays for considerably longer than he had intended. It’s a mostly true story of Bennett’s own experiences with the real-life woman, which means not a great deal happens, but it’s still a light, fun watch that occasionally dallies into trying a more serious tone that doesn’t really gel with the rest of the film and its performances. Smith in particular is wonderful as the kind of woman you pray doesn’t sit next to you on the bus. It’s enjoyable watching her play against type – this is a long shot from her work in Downton Abbey or Harry Potter – and she is a joy to behold. Jennings, perhaps best known to film-goers as Prince Charles in The Queen, is great too, as indeed are most of the cast. An aspect I wasn’t expecting was the exploration of a writer’s mind, with Jennings playing dual roles of two halves of Bennett’s psyche, his writer half and his non-writer half, often having conversations between the two. These are peppered with witty dialogue that often raised a smile. The film won’t blow you away, but it was certainly an entertaining viewing.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Film 7/10

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
spicoli
Watched in preparation for the Female-Directed Movie Draft on the Lambcast, expect a review soon.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review coming soon.

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
MariaBraun
Watched for Blueprint: Review. Expect a review over there soon.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review coming soon.

Posts you may have missed:
Three Brothers
Favourite Scene Friday: Big – For this month’s FSF over at To The Escape Hatch I looked at another female-directed movie, Penny Marshall’s Big, specifically at one of the scenes that never fails to make me smile.
Lambcast #316 Whatcha Been Watchin’ Lately: We were supposed to record a show on the Godfather trilogy, but schedules clashed and changed at the last minute, prompting Will Slater, Aaron Neuwirth and myself to talk about some random films we’ve seen recently instead. We discussed The Set-Up, Hush and Fast Times At Ridgemont High, an eclectic mix that took us down some entertaining tangents.

Goals Update
Aim: Review 8 or 9 1001 List movies each month
Reviewed: 18
Should be on: 29
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 1 “Bad” movie each month
Reviewed: 3
Should be on: 3
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Review 1 “Blind Spot” movie each month
Reviewed: 3
Should be on: 4
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 2 “Film-Makers” movies each month
Reviewed: 6
Should be on: 8
On Track: No!

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