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Vera Drake (2004)

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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:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 41 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Imelda Staunton ... Vera
Richard Graham Richard Graham ... George
Eddie Marsan ... Reg
Anna Keaveney Anna Keaveney ... Nellie
Alex Kelly Alex Kelly ... Ethel
Daniel Mays ... Sid
Phil Davis ... Stan
Lesley Manville ... Mrs. Wells
Sally Hawkins ... Susan
Simon Chandler ... Mr. Wells
Sam Troughton ... David
Marion Bailey ... Mrs. Fowler
Sandra Voe Sandra Voe ... Vera's Mother
Chris O'Dowd ... Sid's Customer
Adrian Scarborough ... Frank
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El secreto de Vera Drake See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film that year to be Oscar nominated for Best Director, but not Best Picture. See more »

Goofs

Vera's sister-in-law Joyce says she wants a washing machine which costs "25 pounds." Until decimalization in 1971, most luxury goods, like washing machines and men's suits, were priced in guineas, not pounds (one guinea = one pound one shilling, or one pound five pence in decimal). Some stores, particularly those wishing to appeal to the middle class or aspiring to a degree of 'poshness', priced items in pounds. Throughout the 1960s most domestic items were priced in pounds, shillings, and pence. Services and professions continued to charge in guineas until much later. In the film, an abortion costs two guineas. 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

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

A Mature director in command.
25 November 2004 | by justin1-1See all my reviews

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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