Vera Drake is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days doting on them and caring for her sick neighbor and elderly mother. However, she also secretly visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies. While the practice itself was illegal in 1950s England, Vera sees herself as simply helping women in need, and always does so with a smile and kind words of encouragement. When the authorities finally find her out, Vera’s world and family life rapidly unravel. –IMDb
One of contemporary Britain’s most renowned directors, Mike Leigh is known for his depictions of the dramas inherent in the everyday lives of regular people. Often compared to compatriot Ken Loach for his emphasis on “slice-of-life” realism (a comparison Leigh has deemed inaccurate, as his films, unlike Loach’s, have no absolute political agenda), Leigh makes films remarkable for their level-headed, unsensational portrayals of topics that would become four-hankie “message” melodramas in the hands of most Hollywood directors.
Born February 20, 1943, in Salford, Manchester, Leigh originally wanted to go into acting. While training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, however, he found himself drawn toward directing and writing, and he eventually transferred to the London Film School. He began his career on the stage, with two of his most important works, The Box Play and Bleak Moments, brought to life through collaborative experimentation during rehearsals. The latter play… read more
Imelda Staunton was brilliant in the movie. Director and costume designer did a great job as well. Didn't really like the plot, the antagonism between personal and social morality seemed a bit too sharp. Gave a couple of interesting thoughts about proximity between sacred/profane, saint/criminal.
This is a good piece of the british realism, as a raw portrait of a human story, the story of the good will of a simple woman. Staunton is remarkable with an intense performance. The film only lakes a good, coherent ending, able to fully represent the moral ambiguity of the central character's position.
Imelda Staunton is fantastic as a modest woman who faces scandal,scorn and prison in her efforts to help woman when they have no one else to turn to. Even if you are against abortion and no one is… read review
It never occurred to me before, but it’s starting to look like Mike Leigh suffers from a terminal case of Yasujiro Ozu syndrome. You know, he tends to make the same films over and over again. I am… read review