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Vera Drake
4 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Mike Leigh

Imelda Staunton, Richard Graham, Eddie Marsan, Daniel Mays, Anna Keaveney, Alex Kelly

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Vera Drake (2004)
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Movie Review by Tony
March 31st, 2006

"Vera Drake" staring Imelda Staunton is one of those movies that stays with you for a long time after you see it. One of those movies where you walk out of it and you are like "wow". A powerfully moving film that really sticks with you hours after you have seen it. It also features a blow away performance and Oscar nominated performance by Imelda Staunton as Vera Drake.

Regardless of your views on the topic at hand ... abortions, both pro and anti abortion people seem to enjoy this movie. It's not a political stand point against either view or a one person army against the evil force. It's about one woman and what she does and the consequences she must face.

Imelda Staunton in Fine Line's Vera Drake

Vera Drake is a kind of naive and simple soul who spends her time taking care of her sick mother, being a wife, helping her shy daughter even meet a guy, cleans peoples homes and takes care of them if they are ill, and also helps girls perform unwanted pregnancies. She is happy, busy, and spends a lot of time smiling and humming songs to herself. She has a heart of gold as her husband said.

Lily is the person who sets up the operations for Vera to perform the abortions. Vera does not take any money, she does it out of the goodness of her heart. Little does Vera know, Lily charges the girls behind Vera's back. They are somewhat of the opposite. Vera is kind and trusting, while Lily is cold hearted and cynical.

What makes this movie work and makes it so powerful, realistic, and moving is Imelda Staunton's performance. Everything Vera says, does, or justifies we believe because of how powerful, accurate, and real the performance is. It comes alive on the screen. If it was anyone else, or any other performance, we might have trouble believing it and getting into it. But she does it so well, we don't have any doubts about this character and why she does, what she does.

Imelda Staunton in Fine Line Features' Vera Drake

But all of this is unbeknowst to her family, and they are shocked when they find out the news about Vera and what she does. The look on Vera's face when the police show up is something to behold. As well as the family's reaction to all of this as they sit around waiting to find out what in the world are the police doing there.

This movie is not just about abortions. It's got some great family scenes of Vera and her husband being close. Of Vera helping her very shy daughter get a boyfriend and then husband. Of the close and tight and hard working family from London, the Drakes. It's got so many great elements that are fascinating, exciting, and very heartfelt.

The first hour of the movie is really good. It shows a great family in the Drakes. Loving, caring, loyal and one great unit. It develops Vera and shows you what a nice, kind and even naive person she is. It shows Vera performing the abortions and showing that she does want money, but is helping these girls out, because they have no one else to turn to.

Imelda Staunton in Fine Line's Vera Drake

The second hour is the films most powerful and moving. The scenes with Vera at the police station are truly amazing. Showing her break down in tears and being upset. Showing the police in a positive light even. When was the last time you saw a positive look on police in film? Or even family for that matter?

It is very welcome that is for sure. The police are smart, kind, but at the same time they need to do their job. Vera's family is upset by this, most notable her son, but at the end the family comes together. This is a smart, incredibly powerful and moving picture that is truly unforgettable.

Do yourself a HUGE favor and go out to the video store right now and rent Vera Drake.

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