Just got around to seeing this splendid film at the cinema. Terrifically written by Alan Bennett, as could be expected, but also bravely written with such honesty about his own life and thoughts which gave the film real truth. Maggie Smith was staggeringly brilliant as Miss Shepherd, inhabiting her character and investing her with an exceptionally broad range of traits, tics and genuine emotion. Alex Jennings did an excellent job of portraying Bennett rather than simply giving us a superficial impersonation. The supporting cast of top-notch British character actors were all just right, with Jim Broadbent especially good in a small role – an even slimier version of the policeman he played so memorably in Only Fools & Horses. Overall, the film successfully gives us drama, tragedy, tension, satire and humour at all the right times.

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