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Vera Drake (2004)

Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
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 & 42 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Imelda Staunton ... Vera
Richard Graham ... George
Eddie Marsan ... Reg
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film process took about a year. The actors all met individually with Mike Leigh and discussed their characters' lives from birth up until the moment the film starts. They began to rehearse together when their characters met one another. 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?
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Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.1 (2011) 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 »

User Reviews

 
a gem of a movie
10 November 2004 | by ikanboySee all my reviews

Imelda Staunton is superb and is my bet for the Oscar unless some Hollywood Diva does another "out of character" performance. But she only shines because of the company she keeps.This is ensemble acting at it's finest. No melodramatics, no attempt to steal scenes,and the result is as honest as life itself. This is the way the British talked, almost always indirectly, hedging around issues rather than hitting them head on, and a slave to mannered behavior. Understate, understate, understate.

Having lived in England from 1952 to 1959, and having married someone who was British who grew up during the war and it's aftermath this movie was like "a bit of old home." My mother employed "char ladies" like Vera, although we were "upper middle class" rather than "upper." The class differences were quite distinct in those days, and often determined by accent. What this movie shows is not only the average life of a "lower class" family but the options forced on them that were different from those in the higher brackets of society.

As anyone should know by know the movie is about illegal abortion in a rigid

puritanical society. Illegal, that is, for those without means, but quite available to those who could grease the wheels of the medical establishment who had "legal" ways around the law. In other words if Roe v. Wade goes then Vera's will pop up again.

There is no attempt to make a statement for or against abortion. As Mike Leigh has said: abortion has been in every society for thousands of years. The Vera Drake's who have lived could populate a small city. What this movie does do is emphasize that the Vera's were/are common average people not quasi criminals lurking behind the curtains of some seedy back alley shack, and that legislating morality never addresses the often harsh reality of human society.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vera Drake See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,207, 10 October 2004

Gross USA:

$3,775,283

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,267,869
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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