7.7/10
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Vera Drake (2004)

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

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Reg
Anna Keaveney ...
Nellie
Alex Kelly ...
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Sid
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Mrs. Wells
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Susan
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Mr. Wells
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David
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Sandra Voe ...
Vera's Mother
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Sid's Customer
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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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

4 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de Vera Drake  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£266,010 (United Kingdom), 9 January 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,207, 10 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,753,806, 27 March 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite Mike Leigh's reputation, the film's budget was so tight that they ran out of money close to the end of shooting. Leigh and the cast rehearsed for another week before shooting restarted. See more »

Goofs

When Sid and his friends are dancing, the music features blaring trumpets. A shot of the band shows only the saxophone and trombone players playing, while the the trumpet player taps his toes. The music also seems to be coming from a much larger band. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Superb in every way

"Vera Drake" is one of those movies that takes you right in and does not release you until long after the movie is over. Come to think of it, most of Mike Leigh's movies have this effect.

Imelda Staunton is flawless as Vera Drake, a kind-hearted simple soul who believes in sharing the compassion and the caring for her own family with others. Part of this compassion is exemplified in a skill she has - she is a back street abortionist. She does not do it for financial gain, but out of sympathy for the helpless women who cannot afford the psychiatric evaluations given to the rich who are then sent to private nursing homes for the procedures.

Through a series of circumstances she is caught and convicted and we observe the effects on her family and those about her.

Everything is flawless about this film. We really are in the cramped little flat where Vera lives, in the near slum environment. Her cheerful domestic work in the wealthy homes of London is in stark contrast to the poverty of her own post war rationed existence.

This film and the actors have to be nominated for many Oscars. Mike Leigh you have done it again. Bravo! 9 out of 10.


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