The Lady in The Van

In the 1970s, dramatist and Beyond the Fringe member Alan Bennett (a spot-on Alex Jennings) allowed a slightly batty homeless woman (a boisterous Maggie Smith, 80 and never better) to park her van in his driveway and temporarily live in it. She stayed for 15 years. True story. As they bond, he learns that she is a former concert pianist and why she lives in fear of arrest. This one brims with the kind of whimsy the British do so well, but never gets cloying. Okay, except for maybe the dopey coda. It’s creatively constructed, frequently hilarious and wonderfully heartwarming.

Japanese title: Miss Shepherd wo temoto ni (104 min)