Friday, 6 November 2015

Maggie, it goes without saying, is magnificent - a riper version of the Dowager Countess (that's ripe as in a wedge of Stinking Bishop) and just as withering in her ripostes. And it was fun to see that The Lady in the Van was actually filmed on Gloucester Crescent and in Alan Bennett's old house. Gloucester Crescent, of course, also features in the BBC adaptation of Nina Stibbe's book Love, Nina which is coming soon (but it sounds as if they've mucked about with the book and, unlike The Lady in the Van, it was filmed somewhere else). 
But can you imagine living on Gloucester Crescent - with AlanBennettMissShepherdClaireTomalinMichaelFraynJonathanMillerAJAyerDeborahMoggachDavidGentlemanGeorgeMellyUrsulaVaughan-WilliamsAliceThomas-Ellis ... and heaven knows who else for neighbours? You'd have to be feeling intellectually at the top of your game even to shuffle out to the corner shop for a pint of milk. You couldn't put out the recycling bin without The Economist and the London Review of Books at the top of the pile. Of course, the joke of Love, Nina is that they're all perfectly normal and watch rubbish telly and eat turkey bolognese. (I'd forgotten, until it was mentioned in the film, that Catherine Dickens lived at no 70, so I wonder if that's what inspired Claire Tomalin's biography? ) 

Maggie will undoubtedly get an Oscar. But having seen Brief Encounter last week - and come away  feeling sorry that it was over too soon - I wondered why films today always make you feel as if they've gone on half an hour too long. By the end, I'd had just a bit too much. And as for the ending ... I'd give Maggie her Oscar and the film 7.5. 


Audrey said...

An adaptation of Love, Nina has to be fun!? I wish more of these shows crossed the pond (though there's a rumor of a pay-to-view BBC channel coming here). And I didn't know about all the other neighbors - she had me at Claire Tomalin, though Alan B. is a much more colorful character.

Mac n' Janet said...

I loved the book, can't wait to see the movie. I wish they'd make a film of one of his other books, The Reluctant Reader.

Cosy Books said...

Yesterday I told a colleague that I'm afraid of being struck down by an aneurysm before seeing this doesn't show here until halfway through January. The anticipation just might get me first!

Bennett's 'Untold Stories' was culled from the library last week, and guess who knew a good thing when others didn't? Oh yes...that would be me.

mary said...

It was very Bohemian, full of interesting people. Audrey - probably less so these days as the houses cost millions.

Is that The Uncommon Reader, Janet? Didn't realise they'd changed the title. Yes, it would be fiun - might be hard to film though?

That's on my desk right now, Darlene. Sincerely hope you survive until at least mid-January when you can die happy! (It is good.I just wanted to tighten it up ... don't think Miss Shepherd really needed a day-trip to Broadstairs to eat knickerbocker glories in Morelli's - but if you like the look of them, we can do it next time you're here!)

Lucille said...

I'm hoping to see this on Saturday and you have given me an idea for getting in the ingredients for knickerbocker glories afterwards. I have lost so much weight coughing that this will be just the remedy I need.

mary said...

I love the idea of medicinal knickerbocker glories, Lucille - beats Lemsip!