IMDb > Vera Drake (2004)
Vera Drake
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Vera Drake (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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Vera Drake -- Theatrical Preview

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   17,991 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Mike Leigh (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Vera Drake on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 October 2004 (Canada) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Wife. Mother. Criminal.
Plot:
Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 40 wins & 30 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The most powerful female performance of the year See more (158 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Imelda Staunton ... Vera
Richard Graham ... George

Eddie Marsan ... Reg
Anna Keaveney ... Nellie
Alex Kelly ... Ethel

Daniel Mays ... Sid

Philip Davis ... Stan (as Phil Davis)

Lesley Manville ... Mrs. Wells

Sally Hawkins ... Susan

Simon Chandler ... Mr. Wells

Sam Troughton ... David

Marion Bailey ... Mrs. Fowler
Sandra Voe ... Vera's Mother

Chris O'Dowd ... Sid's Customer

Adrian Scarborough ... Frank
Heather Craney ... Joyce

Sinead Matthews ... Very Young Woman (as Sinéad Matthews)
Sid Mitchell ... Very Young Man

Leo Bill ... Ronny

Gerard Monaco ... Kenny

Ruth Sheen ... Lily
Tilly Vosburgh ... Mother of Seven

Alan Williams ... Sick Husband
Heather Cameron-McLintock ... Child (as Heather Cameron)
Billie Cook ... Child
Billy Seymour ... Child
Nina Fry ... Dance Hall Girl
Lauren Holden ... Dance Hall Girl

Elizabeth Berrington ... Cynical Lady
Emma Amos ... Cynical Lady

Fenella Woolgar ... Susan's Confidante
Joanna Griffiths ... Peggy
Wendy Nottingham ... Ivy
Nicky Henson ... Private Doctor

Allan Corduner ... Psychiatrist
Angie Wallis ... Nurse Willoughby
Judith Scott ... Sister Beech

Vinette Robinson ... Jamaican Girl
Rosie Cavaliero ... Married Woman

Lesley Sharp ... Jessie Barnes

Liz White ... Pamela Barnes
Anthony O'Donnell ... Mr. Walsh
Lucy Pleasance ... Sister Coombes
Tracy O'Flaherty ... Nurse

Peter Wight ... Det. Inspector Webster

Martin Savage ... Det. Sergeant Vickers
Helen Coker ... WPC Best

Tom Ellis ... Police Constable
Robert Putt ... Station Sergeant

Craig Conway ... Station Constable

Jake Wood ... Ruffian
Vincent Franklin ... Mr. Lewis
Michael Gunn ... Gaoler
Paul Jesson ... Magistrate
Paul Raffield ... Magistrate's Clerk

Jim Broadbent ... Judge
Philip Childs ... Clerk
Jeffry Wickham ... Prosecution Barrister

Nicholas Jones ... Defence Barrister
Stephan Dunbar ... Usher
Angela Curran ... Prisoner
Jane Wood ... Prisoner
Eileen Davies ... Prison Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Hatkoff ... Dancer (uncredited)
David House ... Dancer (uncredited)
James Payton ... Court Reporter (uncredited)

Georgie Smith ... Dancer (uncredited)
Sarah Strachan ... Ballroom Dancer (uncredited)
Ulla Virtanen ... Visitor at the hospital (uncredited)

John Warman ... Policeman in Court (uncredited)
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Directed by
Mike Leigh 
 
Writing credits
Mike Leigh (written by)

Produced by
Simon Channing Williams .... producer
Gail Egan .... executive producer
Christine Gozlan .... executive producer
Robert Jones .... executive producer
Georgina Lowe .... co-producer
Duncan Reid .... executive producer
Alain Sarde .... producer
 
Original Music by
Andrew Dickson 
 
Cinematography by
Dick Pope (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jim Clark 
 
Casting by
Nina Gold 
 
Production Design by
Eve Stewart 
 
Art Direction by
Andrew Grant 
Ed Walsh 
 
Set Decoration by
John Bush 
 
Costume Design by
Jacqueline Durran 
 
Makeup Department
Christine Blundell .... hair designer
Christine Blundell .... makeup designer
Charmaine Fuller .... makeup assistant
Julius Goosen .... makeup assistant
Kerry Scourfield .... makeup artist
Lesa Warrener .... makeup artist
Julia Wilson .... makeup assistant
 
Production Management
Danielle Brandon .... production manager
Steve Harrow .... post-production supervisor
Steve Mason .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rob Burgess .... additional third assistant director (as Robert Burgess)
Sarah Coombs .... third assistant director
Merry Irwin .... third assistant director
Dan John .... second assistant director
Toby Leigh .... additional third assistant director
Darren Price .... set third assistant director
Josh Robertson .... first assistant director
Nick Shuttleworth .... additional second assistant director
Samantha Smith .... additional third assistant director
Hayley Williams .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Peter Agbaba .... stagehand
Vince Bartlett .... props runaround (as Vince Bartlet)
Alan Briant .... prop storeman (as Alan D Briant)
Tanya Clark .... assistant art director
Mark Collisson .... construction manager
Hannastina Crick .... additional painter
Gary Davies .... stagehand
Ken Davy .... painter (as Ken Davey)
Jonathan Downing .... dressing props
Andrew Forrest .... stand-by props (as Andy Forrest)
Dave Hill .... carpenter
Richard Lloyd Jones .... dressing props
Rowanna Lacey .... art department assistant
Jo Littlejohn .... art department coordinator
Leon McCarthy .... stand-by carpenter
Richard Mills .... property master
Rebecca Neville .... stand-by props
Justin Overhill .... stand-by painter
Marko Pavlovic .... additional painter (as Marko Pavolic)
Gary Peed .... dressing props
Joseph Raynes .... additional painter
Tom Read .... stand-by art director
Don Santos .... dressing props
Terry Stinson .... dressing props
Andrew 'Monty' Wilson .... dressing props
Rhona Wilson .... production buyer
 
Sound Department
Georgina Adams .... trainee: FT2
Tom Barrow .... sound assistant
Chris Burdon .... sound re-recording mixer
Peter Burgess .... foley walker (as Pete Burgess)
Paul Carr .... adr mixer
Andie Derrick .... foley walker (as Andi Derrick)
Robert Farr .... foley mixer
Tim Fraser .... sound recordist
Peter Gleaves .... adr mixer
Loveday Harding .... sound maintenance
Zane Hayward .... sound effects editor
Adrian Rhodes .... sound re-recording mixer
Nigel Stone .... supervising sound editor
John Warhurst .... sound editor
Denise Yarde .... additional boom operator
Doug Cooper .... foley recordist (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Sally Clayton .... production supervisor: Digital Cinema at VTR
Mike Fraser .... consultant: Digital Cinema at VTR
Danny Pagan .... data coordinator: Digital Cinema at VTR
Safiya Ravat .... combustion artist: Digital Cinema at VTR (as Saffia Ravat)
Tom Russell .... colourist: Digital Cinema at VTR
Rod Shelton .... producer: Digital Cinema at VTR
James Tillett .... film recording supervisor: Digital Cinema at VTR
Laurent Treherne .... data supervisor: Digital Cinema at VTR
Tom Russell .... digital intermediate colourist (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Lucy Bristow .... second camera operator
Lee Eldred .... electrician
Avelino Fernandez .... electrician
Neil Flaherty .... trainee: FT2
John Hanks .... additional rigger
Simon Mein .... still photographer
Brian Miller .... generator operator
Les Mills .... additional rigger
Matthew Moffat .... gaffer
Andy Ormesher .... stand-by rigger
Dick Pope .... camera operator
James Scott .... second assistant camera
Gordon Segrove .... first assistant camera
Dan Shoring .... second assistant camera
Martin Smith .... best boy
Colin Strachan .... grip
Joe McGee .... practical electrician (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Rosalie Clayton .... casting assistant
Tamara Gillon .... casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jennifer Alford .... costume maker
Sue Bradbear .... seamstress (as Sue Bradbeer)
Sallyann Dicksee .... costume assistant (as Sally Ann Dicksee)
Julia Dollimore .... costume assistant
Charlotte Finlay .... costume supervisor
Sophie Finlay .... costume assistant
Andrew Fletcher .... costume assistant
Frank Gallacher .... costume assistant
Laura Grace .... wardrobe mistress
Jenny Hawkins .... costume assistant
Steve Hyams .... costume assistant
Gabriella Loria .... costume buyer
Helen Mattocks .... costume design assistant
Sara Meek .... costume assistant
Jane Petrie .... costume assistant
Gaetano Speranza .... assistant costume designer
Rachele Verrecchia .... costume assistant
Celia Yau .... stand-by costume assistant
Camille Benda .... costume assistant (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Gavin Buckley .... first assistant editor
Clive Noakes .... color grader
Steve Farman .... negative cutter (uncredited)
Neil Stenhouse .... rushes operator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ben Bevan .... vocal coordinator
Nick Bicât .... conductor
Helen Keen .... musician: bass flute
Fiesta Mei Ling .... music preparation
Gerry O'Riordan .... music engineer
Step Parikian .... music supervisor
Lucy Wakeford .... musician: harp
Rosemary Warren-Green .... musician: viola
Stacey Watton .... musician: double bass
 
Transportation Department
Glen Anderson .... driver: costume vehicle
Kevin Bennett .... driver: minibus
Luke Chisholm .... driver: camera/grips (as Luke Chisolm)
Dave Coker .... driver: props
Martyn Giles .... unit driver
John McMeekin .... driver: construction department
Mark Williams .... unit driver
 
Other crew
Chris Allies .... title designer
Alison Brister .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Claire Broughton .... assistant to producer
Danny Brown .... facilities captain
Judith Chan .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Dom Channing-Williams .... production runner (as Dominic Channing Williams)
Terry Charman .... advisor: world war II
Graham Easton .... completion bond: Film Finance Ltd.
Mandy Edwards .... location assistant
Jonathan Evans .... advisor: medical history
Will Evans .... liaison: The UK Film Council
Jeffrey Gordon .... advisor: legal history
Vince Holden .... liaison: The UK Film Council
John Jaggon .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Paula Jalfon .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Ali James .... location scout
Francesca Jaynes .... choreographer
Victoria King .... solicitor: Richards Butler
Rowan Laidlaw .... additional runner
Neil Lee .... location manager
David Lewisohn .... solicitor: Richards Butler
Clive Loveless .... advisor: motor car
Andrew MacLean .... assistant accountant
Sarah McBryde .... production coordinator
Justin Miller .... assistant accountant
Fiona Morham .... liaison: The UK Film Council
Clive Noakes .... laboratory contact
Brock Norman Brock .... liaison: The UK Film Council
Richard Philipps .... solicitor: Richards Butler
Jonathan Rutter .... publicist: McDonald & Rutter
Roger Sampson .... insurance: Aon/Albert G. Ruben
Alain Sarde .... presenter
Joy Scott .... additional runner
Ray Seal .... advisor: police history
Heather Storr .... script supervisor
Peter Touche .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Will Tyler .... production accountant
Doug Vale .... unit medic
Tamara Walsh .... trainee: FT2
Lucy Whitton .... researcher
Matthew Woolf .... location scout
Henry Woolley .... location manager
Richard Rowntree .... assistant: Steve Harrow (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for depiction of strong thematic material
Runtime:
125 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Czech Republic:15 | Finland:K-11 | France:U | Germany:12 (f) | Iceland:L | Ireland:15 | Netherlands:AL | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Zurich) | Taiwan:PG-12 | UK:12A (original rating) | UK:12 (video rating) (2005) | USA:R
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Except for Imelda Staunton, none of the actors knew that the film was about abortion until their characters find out. Each actors only knew what concerned their characters.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Vera:Hello George, only me. How are you going today?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Salut D'Amour (Liebesgruss), Op.12See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
59 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
The most powerful female performance of the year, 18 October 2004
Author: Greg (gregmoroberts@yahoo.com) from Oakville, Ontario

I don't think I need to fear rolling pins being thrown in my general direction when I say that powerful women roles are few and far between in Moviedom. That is not to say that there aren't any, it's just that it is rare for a female performance to blow you away in any projector driven screening. This is due more to Hollywood's reluctance to create interesting and powerful roles for the female elite than the actresses' ability themselves. Where studio honchos salivate over the next Jack Nicholson powerhouse or Anthony Hopkins costume drama, there are far far too few Charlize Theron's Monster to counter.

However, leave it up to Mike Leigh to try and correct this trend. In 1996, he wrote and directed the wonderful Secrets & Lies, and his writing for the women leads was so strong, that the Academy awarded nominations for both Best Actress (Brenda Blethyn) and Supporting Actress (Marianne Jean-Baptiste). Now in 2004, Leigh has given us the strongest performance by a male or female of the year with Imelda Staunton as the title character in the new film Vera Drake.

Vera Drake is the story a family in 1950's London. Vera is the Motherhead and she is the jack-of-all-trades within the community. Her days are spend stopping in on elderly people to help them with their lunch, working a various estates as a cleaning lady, slaving at a light bulb producing factory and most notably, as a caring individual who helps young and poor women terminate unwanted pregnancies.

However, if you were to ask Vera Drake what her role was, she would probably admit to being a mother first – a caregiver to her husband and two children.

A selfless woman who has little time for herself and therefore little time to digest the consequences of her illegal actions. Vera is goes about every bit of her business, whether she is down on her knees cleaning the brass around a fireplace or helping a woman perform an abortion without a frown and usually with a smile on her face, a whistling tune on her lips and the kettle on the stove.

Vera's family are equally lovable individuals. Her husband, Geroge (Phil Davis) works with his brother at an automobile repair shop. Her son Sid works as the local tailor and her daughter is a soft spoken lass who falls for a local man Vera invites over to dinner as a kind gesture. Together they make the quintessential family unit that we all envisioned 1950's households to encompass.

But when a local girl has a bad reaction to a Drake endorsed abortion, their world is turned on end. An investigation by the local police lead them to Vera's door on the night of celebration due to her daughters engagement. And as the police take Vera to the local booking station for a statement and sentencing, Imelda Staunton does her best work through the tears and expressions mirroring the suffering at the anguish she has put her family through.

Vera Drake might just be the best picture to be viewed by this critic this year. The characters are so robust and real that every time Vera put the kettle on for a cup of tea, you would think she is doing it for everyone in the audience. We become captivated by their lives and interested in the effects the events have on the family unit. The writing is crisp and you can imagine these people saying these things to one another – a gift not often bestowed upon moviegoers in such a powerful form.

Director Mike Leigh deserves most of the credit. He transforms Vera in front of us and manages to take an illegal action that is generally taboo in conversation and shows us the innocent side of the argument where rich people pay large sums of money to go specialists, but the poor and equally needy require the services of a local underground network. As someone who sits on one side of the abortion issue, I was amazed at the conclusion of the film how non-preaching and argumentative the film ended up being. Vera goes about her business like a friend helping out someone in need. She deals not in the politics or the societal view of her task but rather as someone just doing what is best for those found in situations where this solution is the only viable option.

Leigh's writing and directing however are overshadowed by the incredible performance by Imelda Staunton. This maybe the first film that I can remember where a female should win an Academy Award for a role that didn't harbor any speeches into the camera or voice over dramatization of the situation. With that, I give Vera Drake a very strong recommendation.

www.gregsrants.com

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