“I’m not a beggar! I’m self-employed!” insists Miss Shepherd, played with defiant brio by Maggie Smith.
But the fact remains that Miss Shepherd has only a van to call her home, despite an education and a former stint as a nun. “The Lady in the Van” finds a friendship blooming between Miss Shepherd and the middle-aged man who allows her to park her home in his driveway for 15 years.
The U.S. trailer is, shall we say, less than charitable, giving the last word to a rude fruit vendor (CBS late-night host James Corden) who jokes that Miss Shepherd smells likes a corpse. The swirling waltz music in the background tries to “cutesify” Miss Shepherd’s efforts to hold on to her dignity and her refusal to prostrate before others for their charity by painting them as “quirks” — so, uh, we’re not so sure about this trailer. But we’ll withhold judgment until the picture opens.
“The Lady in the Van” opens stateside on January 15, 2016.