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 »
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 »
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 »
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
Filmed with no script, the film went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay for 2005 Oscar. Mike Leigh said that he "had to prepare the screenplay so it can be sent out to academy members. But actually the screenplay that was nominated doesn't exist. The film is the screenplay." See more »
Vera's sister-in-law Joyce says she wants a washing machine which costs "twenty five pounds". Until decimalization in 1971, most luxury goods (such as washing machines and men's suits) were priced in guineas not pounds. Interestingly, in the film the cost of the abortion is expressed as two guineas.
(One guinea = one pound one shilling, equivalent to one pound five pence in decimal.)
This was true for some outlets, particularly those wishing to appeal to the middle class or those aspiring to a degree of 'poshness'. Throughout the 1960s most domestic items were priced in £.s.d or Pounds, shillings and pence. Services and professions continued to charge in guineas as an affectation until much later. See more »
Hello George, only me. How are you going today?
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After the end credits it says: "In loving memory of my parents, a doctor and a midwife." See more »
I have been a longtime fan of Mike Leigh, always fascinated to see his slice of life take on England. Because of his well known creative process, the intrigue would be to see the actors and the characters and dramas (and comedies) they created. They were always worth watching in a voyeuristic way due to Leigh's unobtrusive camera work.
Vera Drake is well worth seeing for these same reasons, but Leigh has made a bigger and better movie than ever before, even with all of Topsy Turvy's bombast. His ambitions as director are greater than ever. First of all, to take on the subject of abortion is very brave. But I'll leave that for others to discuss. What was of interest to me from the opening shot was that this was going to be a visual tour de force, and it was.
Painting the scenes in dark, crushing browns and greens, with tight camera angles or letting the light in, each scene had the feel of a well thought out canvas, even the cut aways between scenes were new, inventive and beautiful.
And the acting is great and the scenes of the family interacting in close quarters, moving in synch are so pitch perfect you feel they have been doing this for decades.
So if you're thinking of seeing this movie, sit back, relax, and prepare to be taken on a slow, masterful ride.
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