The Lady in the Van

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Maggie Smith’s new film, The Lady in the Van, is not for the faint of heart.  Briefly, it is about an older woman with mental health challenges whose luck at being born in England means that the social services supporting her are numerous.  Promoted as a comedy, the redoubtable Ms Smith’s film is indeed funny.  It is also tragic, poignantly so, and able to stir terrors regarding homelessness, mental illness, and the horrifying cruelty of the Catholic Church.  In the face of Spotlight‘s best picture win at the 2016 Academy Awards, this smaller film barely makes a ripple in the cultural pond.  However, the wrong this film does expose, while not sexual abuse, involves unforgettable psychic abuse.

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