Learn more about this title's writer and director in as we put Mike Leigh In the Director's Chair...
Vera Drake [DVD]
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Imelda Staunton stars as Vera Drake, a woman devoted completely to her working class family. She spends her time caring for her elderly mother and sick neighbour, but also secretly visits women with unwanted pregnancies, helping them induce miscarriage. With this practice illegal in 1950s England, Vera finds her life fall apart when the authorities find out.
The brilliant writer-director Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy, Secrets and Lies, Naked) has crafted an utterly compelling movie about one of the most controversial of topics. An irrepressibly hopeful housecleaner in 1950s London named Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton, Antonia and Jane, Shakespeare in Love) mothers everyone around her, from her own family to helpless shut-ins and lonely men living in tiny, isolated apartments. None of these people know that Vera also helps young women get rid of unwanted pregnancies, until the police appear and tear her world apart. Vera Drake isn't just an inspired character portrait; through simple and straightforward scenes, the movie weaves a quiet but mesmerizing portrait of how people--both wealthy and poor--cope with adversity. Though wrenching, Vera Drake has too much life to be depressing. Leigh is deservedly famous for his work with actors; every character brims with truth and Staunton's performance deserves every award it could possibly win. --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
Vera Drake is a kind and generous woman, too kind and too generous, the movie shows, for the world surrounding her, the cruelty of which is encapsulated in the woman who procures "clients" for her, pocketing money from these women without Vera's knowledge, as well as doing Vera the favour of selling her various food products (such as sugar) of which, we understand, there was a shortage in those postwar years.
Imelda Staunton gives an overwhelming performance, exhibiting Vera's kindness, reliability, generosity, naivete, heartbreak, sense of shame, and, finally, despair, with great credibility. I agree with some of the other reviewers who state that the movie doesn't try to take sides.Read more ›
Vera works hard as a domestic servant in post WWII London. A tiny woman, she is a bundle of energy and optimism who exudes warmth and compassion. With great sincerity, she unstintingly gives of herself and her time to help others. She continually looks in on family and neighbors, especially the elderly and infirm, to make sure they have what they need. Vera is the backbone of her family, which includes her adoring husband, Stan (Phil Davis), son Sid, (Daniel Mays), a tailor who fancies himself a man about town, and daughter Ethel, (Alex Kelly), a timid factory worker. Vera is their hearthstone, and the person who truly lights up their lives, a solid presence, full of good cheer and the ever present cuppa.
Unbeknownst to those who love her, Vera has been "helping-out young women" for years. She assists them to end their unwanted pregnancies.Read more ›
The movie is very unassuming and smooth flowing. You cannot help but empathise with the main character. It is, a film, as one would think rather predictable but the way the whole film is done, the tone and the other characters played were very convincing.
It's not a nice film per say but a superb one!
A complete tour de force.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A superb film, i have given this five stars, something that i would reserve for something special. How anyone can give this less than four stars is beyond me, the only thing i... Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. S. Basi
What an absolutely brilliant film this is. It begins in typical Mike Leigh fashion, people pottering around their little London abodes, constantly drinking tea (I'm glad I wasn't... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ozymandias
Well acted by Imelda Staunton. I thought the film was good but ended suddenly. I felt the characters could have been better displayed. Just too many cups of tea! Read morePublished 4 months ago by john mandley