MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 769 this week

Vera Drake (2004)

R  |   |  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 18,936 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 161 user | 169 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

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 22 Apr 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 16 Oct 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 02 Jan 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 19 Nov 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 09 Dec 2013
 

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 43 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a lower-class white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
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 7.5/10 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
Life Is Sweet (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
Naked (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Parallel tales of two sexually obsessed men, one hurting and annoying women physically and mentally, one wandering around the city talking to strangers and experiencing dimensions of life.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge
Bleak Moments (1971)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Moments from the uncompromisingly bleak existence of a secretary, her intellectually disabled sister, aloof and uneasy teacher boyfriend, bizarre neighbor and irritating workmate.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Anne Raitt, Sarah Stephenson, Eric Allan
A Sense of History (TV Short 1992)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
Four Days in July (TV Movie 1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Edit

Cast

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

In the dancing scene with Sid and his friends, the music played features blaring trumpets. However, at the same time it shows the band and the only ones playing are the saxophone and trombone players. The trumpet player is just tapping his toes here. Also, the music would have to be played by a large band, not a group of a couple musicians due to the harmonies heard. 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 Extras: Samuel L Jackson (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Calling All Workers
(1940)
Written by Eric Coates
(p) 1940 Chappell Recorded Music Library
(c) 1940 Chappell Recorded Music Library
A BMG Zomba Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
10/10
20 November 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Along with Abbas Kiarostami, Mike Leigh must be the finest film artist now living. He sets up the story here very smartly; it's Altmanesque the way that the lives intertwine. And like Altman, the film has an observational style (the camera sits still as people walk about the house), though without his cynical humor. (There is one comic relief character, however, who Vera's son measures for tailoring.) The story is craftily put-together -- Leigh, for all his realism, isn't above cinema: he's not against creating a scene. His entire movie is a build-up to individual looks and faces; one especially fine scene is laid out incredibly well: we see a car pull up outside; inside, we get the news that someone is going to have a baby; then a knock at the door... What sets him apart from many so-called realists is that he's not an inept moviemaker. Even though a number of the scenes are complete of themselves and incredibly well-wrought, none of them are "scenes"; the only hint of cinematic flair that Leigh indulges in are the recurring motifs of heavenly music. The film is not traditional realism in terms of acting, either -- the actors all have a very distinct look that has to do with the way they're shot, but each character, each actor, seems alive in such a way that isn't theatrical or exaggerated or false, but still animated. There is an unflinching dedication to emotional consistency and detail (such as the mechanics of the abortions), but it always remains humane (without ever turning sentimental); when one woman is raped, Leigh doesn't linger on the scene, he doesn't really even show anything.

Leigh makes few political points in the film. (No doubt conservatives would see the film as a horror story, this woman creeping around from house to house.) It is not an "issue" movie. It is much more about families and people, and how they support one of their own; it could just as easily about someone accused of child molestation, or who assisted suicides. The miracle of the film is that the catalyst for the emotional breakdown, the abortions, aren't just a device, they're a whole, complete film in their own right. It's what gives certain images such immediate, painful power. His film, planned as it is, consists of events that are completely random and unforeseeable to the characters, even though we, the audience expect them (it only serves to make them more devastating that we see it coming). We see an abortion; we see a couple get engaged; we see a rape; we see that someone is expecting a baby. Leigh has empathy for everyone in the film, and with the exception of three women -- Vera's sister in law, the woman who procures Vera's "patients," and the mother of one of the girls who she performs an abortion for -- he doesn't turn anyone into a villain. Even one horrific psychiatrist interview grows into something where we realize, haughty as he is, he's not exactly "out to get" this girl who wants help (although the scene hits home the difference involved in getting abortions performed by doctors and on the street).

Sometimes the film is a little too obvious, as when Vera's son can't deal with what she's done, effectively sticking the knife in her (and us). And you could complain that Staunton, in the second half, is ordered to put on a blank face, as if she's had a stroke. But it's a simple view to see her as a smiling happy person in the first part and then a wrecked creature in the second -- there is always something interesting in her performance, completely aside from the looks on her face (one such, when the police ask to see her, is the best image of the human face in years). In the beginning she uses her teeth in a very interesting way, and though she's referred to as a woman with a heart of gold (and while I'm not saying she isn't) there's something more in her performance, something indescribable -- it's why she never stops to comfort the women she "helps out." What prevents the film from being a display of the miserable, like Lars von Trier at his worst, is Leigh's innate connection to the legacy of the great humanists, that of hope -- not false, optimistic hope, but hope in something bigger (and more intimate): the human soul. 10/10


127 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
i hate hillary swank for beating... curlyman217
What happened to Lily? allenhsu99
The movie itself...opinions only niki4507
Vera's arrest completely IMPROVISED..! faithweb2
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:
?