The Lady In The Van (12A)
Maggie Smith reprises the role she played in Alan Bennett’s hit stage play as the elderly Miss Shepherd, a lady who occupied a decrepit Bedford van parked in Bennett’s Camden Town driveway for some 15 years. Having directed the play, Nicholas Hytner (The Crucible, The Madness Of King George) now helms Bennett’s screen adaptation to delightful, multilayered effect. Miss Shepherd is no slave to personal hygiene or polite diplomacy. Smith’s wonderful take on this cantankerous English eccentric is well matched by Alex Jennings, who plays Bennett as he becomes Miss Shepherd’s somewhat bemused benefactor and astringent observer. Roger Allam, Frances de la Tour and James Corden (star of Bennett’s The History Boys) also add considerably to this joyous, socially contemplative comedy drama. Today, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Thursday at 6pm, Sunday at 7.30pm, Tuesday at 7.45pm and Wednesday at 8.45pm.
Bridge Of Spies (12A)
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers’ only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Donovan boards a plane to Berlin, hoping to win the young man’s freedom through a prisoner exchange. If all goes well, the Russians would get Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), the convicted spy who Donovan defended in court. Today at 8.30pm.
The Dressmaker (12A)
In 1950s Australia, beautiful, talented dressmaker Tilly returns to her tiny hometown to right wrongs from her past. As she tries to reconcile with her mother, she starts to fall in love while transforming the fashion of the town. Friday, Saturday and Monday at 8.30pm, Sunday at 4.45pm, Tuesday at 2pm and Wednesday at 6pm.
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once a top chef in Paris until drugs and alcohol led to a meltdown that put his career on hold. After moving from New Orleans to London, Adam gets a shot at redemption when his former maitre d’ (Daniel Brühl) reluctantly hires him as the head chef of his fine-dining restaurant. Demanding perfection from his newly formed staff (Sienna Miller, Omar Sy), the acerbic and temperamental Jones gets a second chance to fulfill his dream of earning a third Michelin star. Sunday at 2.45pm and Thursday at 8.30pm.
Branagh Theatre Encore: A Winter’s Tale Saturday at 2pm.