MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,796 this week

Vera Drake (2004)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  7 January 2005 (UK)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 18,166 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 158 user | 171 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Staff Picks: Favorite Horror Movies

We asked IMDb staffers to provide their favorite horror movies.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 16 Mar 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 29 Mar 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 30 Jul 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 4 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Vera Drake" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Vera Drake (2004)

Vera Drake (2004) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Vera Drake.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 40 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Successful black woman traces her birth mother to a lower-class white woman, who denies it; emotions run high as everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen
Another Year (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville
Topsy-Turvy (1999)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After Gilbert and Sullivan's latest play is critically panned, the frustrated team threatens to disband until it is inspired to write the masterpiece "The Mikado."

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Dexter Fletcher
Career Girls (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

2 young women reunite and rekindle their friendship after having said goodbye at their college graduation, six years earlier.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Katrin Cartlidge, Lynda Steadman, Kate Byers
High Hopes (1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Philip Davis, Ruth Sheen, Edna Doré
Naked (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge
Life Is Sweet (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Claire Skinner
Bleak Moments (1971)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Moments from the uncompromisingly bleak existence of a secretary, her retarded sister, aloof and uneasy teacher boyfriend, bizzare neighbour and irritating workmate.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Anne Raitt, Sarah Stephenson, Eric Allan
Four Days in July (TV Movie 1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A catholic and a protestant couple in Northern Ireland have amazing parallels in their lives, despite being either side of the divide.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Brid Brennan, Des McAleer, Paula Hamilton
A Sense of History (TV Short 1992)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The 23rd Earl of Leete shares brief moments of his life, the truth behind his family estate and his particular glorious moment when he murdered his wife and his brother.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Stephen Bill, Belinda Bradley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Graham ...
George
...
Reg
Anna Keaveney ...
Nellie
Alex Kelly ...
Ethel
...
Sid
...
Stan (as Phil Davis)
...
Mrs. Wells
...
Susan
...
Mr. Wells
...
...
Mrs. Fowler
Sandra Voe ...
Vera's Mother
...
Sid's Customer
...
Frank
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wife. Mother. Criminal.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of strong thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

7 January 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de Vera Drake  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£266,010 (UK) (7 January 2005)

Gross:

$3,753,806 (USA) (25 March 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite Mike Leigh's reputation, the film budget was so tight that during the penultimate week, they ran out of money, so Leigh and the cast rehearsed for a further week before carrying on. See more »

Goofs

When the young girl visits the psychiatrist, he asks her what her father does. She replies that "He works for the Ministry of Defence". However, the Ministry of Defence was not created until 1968 with the amalgamation of The War Office (Army), The Air Ministry (Royal Air Force) and The Admiralty (Royal Navy). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Vera: Hello George, only me. How are you going today?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits it says: "In loving memory of my parents, a doctor and a midwife." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Salut D'Amour (Liebesgruss), Op.12
(1888)
Written by Edward Elgar
By permission of Schott & Co Limited, London
Performed by Rosemary Warren-Green (violin) and Ian Brown (piano)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Being kind, no matter how.
6 November 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The key for understanding the character of Vera Drake is "dear". Vera is one of the kindest souls one will ever see in pictures in a long, long time. Vera Drake is a woman who will go out of her way to be of use to anyone that needs her. In fact, one's initial reaction to Mrs. Drake's activities is one of complete disbelief.

Mike Leigh has created a film that, although not easy to sit through, is one of the finest movies that have come out of the English cinema in a long time. This director keeps getting better with every new film. The subject of the film is something that has been at the heart of the recent elections in the USA. With the new climate in this country it's easy to see that situations like the ones we see in the story, could well be the norm here in a not too distant future.

The main, and perhaps the only, reason for watching this extraordinary film is the portrayal of Vera by that wonderful actress, Imelda Staunton. Her Vera is an example a person who can't say no to anyone in need. There is a scene when Vera is first confronted by the police during a dinner at her house where we see her face as charges are hurled at her, then little by little, Ms. Staunton breaks down in what is one of the great moments in acting by any actress in living memory. One can see her eyes fill with tears because it suddenly dawns on Vera the immensity of what she has done.

The action takes place in 1950 in a London still ravaged by the effect of WWII. The film recreates the era with great details. Vera's flat is so tiny, one wonders how can four grown up people live in such cramped quarters. Even though they are poor, the Drake household is happy, as they all live together without apparently getting on each other's nerves. Both children, Ethel and Sid are well behaved; they both love their parents. Stan and Vera love one another in a subdued, but caring way. Is it possible that Vera could be the monster she is accused of being?

The film also makes a point of the contrast between the humble way in which the Drakes live and the rich houses where Vera goes to work every day. Vera's home is tiny and the others are so well appointed, it is only natural to assume that Vera will bear a resentment toward her employers, but on the contrary, she is a dignified woman who makes do with her meager wages.

There is also the irony about how Susan Wells, the daughter of one of Vera's employers, goes through the same thing that the other girls that Vera "helps", and everything is done in a civilized way. Mr. Leigh shows us in this case how things are different because Susan is able to buy a solution to her problem and deal with it safely.

The ensemble cast is marvelous. Imelda Staunton dominates the movie. We can't take our eyes away from the dowdy and plain woman we see on the screen. Phil Davis as Stan, Vera's husband, is excellent. Alex Kelly plays the mousy daughter Ethel, who never utters a word; this actress makes her real. Daniel Mays is Sid, the son who can't understand what his mother has done. Eddie Marsan as Reg, makes his character believable.

The film is a triumph for Mike Leigh.


148 of 165 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
i hate hillary swank for beating... curlyman217
Vera's arrest completely IMPROVISED..! faithweb2
What happened to Lily? allenhsu99
The movie itself...opinions only niki4507
Eddie Marsan marobertson
Susan (the rich girl) looked like that guy from Foo Fighters romeovf
Discuss Vera Drake (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?