It is 1917, WWI, trench warfare continues between the English and the Germans in the flatlands of northern France. Lance corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is ordered to deliver a letter to the front-line warning of a German ambush they are about to run into and 1600 lives are at risk, including Blake’s brother’s. To deliver this message he has to cross the occupied French countryside but he is assured the Germans have already retreated as part of their ambush plan.
‘The Lady in the Van’ was Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), an elderly vagrant living in her van in the streets of Camden in the 1970s and 80s. She came to live in Alan Bennett’s (Alex Jennings) driveway for some fifteen years. The movie tells the story of how Mary came to live, in her van, in Alan’s garden, and in a slow and roundabout way also discloses how she ended up living her autumn years in that van in the first place.