Alan Bennett's story is based on the true story of Miss Shepherd (played by a magnificent Maggie Smith), a woman of uncertain origins who 'temporarily' parked her van in Bennett's London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years. What begins as a begrudged favor becomes a relationship that will change both their lives. Filmed on the street and in the house where Bennett and Miss Shepherd lived all those years, acclaimed director Nicholas Hytner reunites with iconic writer Alan Bennett (The Madness of King George, The History Boys) to bring this rare and touching portrait to the screen.
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Cast & Crew
Maggie SmithActorOne of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor Robert Stephens and to playwright Beverley Cross. Her marriage to Stephens ended in divorce in 1974. She was married to Cross until his death in 1999. She had two sons with Stephens, Chris Larkin and Toby Stephens who are also actors. Maggie Smith's career began at the Oxford Playhouse in the 1950s. She made her film debut in 1956 as one of the party guests in Child in the House (1956). She has since performed in over sixty films and television series with some of the most prominent actors and actresses in the world. These include: Othello (1965) with Laurence Olivier, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), California Suite (1978) with Michael Caine and Jane Fonda, A Room with a View (1985), Richard III (1995) with Ian McKellen and Jim Broadbent, Franco Zeffirelli's Tea with Mussolini (1999) with Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Cher and Gosford Park (2001) with Kristin Scott Thomas and Clive Owen, directed by Robert Altman. Maggie Smith has also been nominated for an Oscar six times and won twice, for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) and California Suite (1978). Smith later appeared in the very successful 'Harry Potter' franchise as the formidable Professor McGonagall as well as in Julian Fellowes' ITV drama series, Downton Abbey (2010) (2010-2011) as the Dowager Countess of Grantham.More
Dominic CooperActorDominic Edward Cooper was born and raised in Greenwich, London, England. His mother, Julie (Heron), is a nursery school teacher and a keen theater-goer. His father, Brian Cooper, is an auctioneer. They divorced when Dominic was age 5. His maternal great-grandfather was film enthusiast E.T. Heron, who published The Kinematograph Weekly. He has two older brothers, Nathan and Simon. He had a sister who died in a car accident when she was age 5, which happened before Dominic was born. He also has a half-sister from an extramarital affair by his father and a half-brother from his father's second marriage. He went to school in Kidbrooke, attending the Thomas Tallis School. He didn't know what to do afterwards and his girlfriend, at the time, suggested that he should apply to drama school. He did his training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He performed in the end of year play 'Waiting For Godot' and this performance landed him the renowned agent Pippa Markham. He graduated in 2000 and started with a few minor roles in television and theater. In 2004, he landed a role at the National Theatre with 'The History Boys'. He originated the role of Dakin, as he was involved in the play from the very beginning. He played the role for two years on the stage and then, for the final time, in his breakthrough film role The History Boys (2006).More
James CordenActorDescribing himself as the "chunky unit", James Kimberley Corden was born in Hillingdon, London and raised in Buckinghamshire, the son of Margaret (Collins), a social worker, and Malcolm Corden, a musician. He studied drama at the Jackie Palmer Stage School before going on to Holmer Green Senior School, near High Wycombe. However, he admits that he had very little academic ambition and turned to acting, making his screen debut in the monochrome Shane Meadows film Twenty Four Seven (1997). After taking small roles in television drama series, he landed his first notable role as the teenage member of a slimming club in the British TV comedy-drama Fat Friends (2000). Shortly afterwards, he appeared on the London stage in Alan Bennett's play "The History Boys", taking part in its subsequent international tour, as well as the cinema adaptation. Whilst working on Fat Friends (2000), he met the Welsh actress Ruth Jones and, between them, they fashioned the sitcom (in which both also appear) Gavin & Stacey (2007), the big hit of the 2007 season, winning British Film Academy awards for them both as Best Comedy Show and for James as Best Comedy Actor. He also persuaded three of the erstwhile "History Boys" to make cameo appearances as Gavin's stag party friends. In 2011 he found fame as a stage actor in the acclaimed farce 'One Man, Two Guv'nors' transferring with it from London to Broadway, thus beginning Transatlantic success topped in 2015 when he became the host of CBS 'The Late, Late Show'.More
Jim BroadbentActorOne of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Laverick Broadbent and sculptress Doreen "Dee" (Findlay) Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a place at an art school. His heart was in acting, though, and he would later transfer to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Following his 1972 graduation, he began his professional career on the stage, performing with the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and as part of the National Theatre of Brent, a two-man troupe which he co-founded. In addition to his theatrical work, Broadbent did steady work on television, working for such directors as Mike Newell and Stephen Frears. Broadbent made his film debut in 1978 with a small part in Jerzy Skolimowski's The Shout (1978). He went on to work with Frears again in The Hit (1984) and with Terry Gilliam in Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985), but it was through his collaboration with Mike Leigh that Broadbent first became known to an international film audience. In 1990 he starred in Leigh's Life Is Sweet (1990), a domestic comedy that cast him as a good-natured cook who dreams of running his own business. Broadbent gained further visibility the following year with substantial roles in Neil Jordan's The Crying Game (1992) and Mike Newell's Enchanted April (1991), and he could subsequently be seen in such diverse fare as Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Widows' Peak (1994), Richard Loncraine's highly acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III (1995) and Little Voice (1998), the last of which cast him as a seedy nightclub owner. Appearing primarily as a character actor in these films, Broadbent took center stage for Leigh's Topsy-Turvy (1999), imbuing the mercurial W.S. Gilbert with emotional complexity and comic poignancy. Jim's breakthrough year was 2001, as he starred in three critically and commercially successful films. Many would consider him the definitive supporting actor of that year. First he starred as Bridget's dad (Colin Jones) in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), which propelled Renée Zellweger to an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Next came the multiple Oscar-nominated film (including Best Picture) Moulin Rouge! (2001), for which he won a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA award for his scene-stealing performance as Harold Zidler. Lastly, came the small biopic Iris (2001), for which he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as devoted husband John Bayley to Judi Dench's Iris Murdoch, the British novelist who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. The film hit home with Jim, since his own mother had passed away from Alzheimer's in 1995.More