Vera Drake (2004)

Director - Mike Leigh
Country - England


I so fell in love with the character of Vera Drake that I stopped the film halfway through because I knew what was coming. Imelda Staunton played the character so convincingly, I did not want anything to happen to her. I did not finish watching the film until two days later.
This is a brilliant film


Vera Drake is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days (after working full-time as a cleaning woman for wealthy families) 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.


Nominated for 3 Oscars and won numerous awards

Won the following BAFTA awards:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Imelda Staunton

David Lean Award for Direction
Mike Leigh

Won the following British Independent Film Awards:

Best Achievement in Production

Best Actor
Philip Davis

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Best British Independent Film

Best Director
Mike Leigh

Best Supporting Actor/Actress
Eddie Marsan

Won the Chlotrudis Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Won the European Film Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Won the Evening Standard British Film Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Best Film
Mike Leigh

Won the ALFS Award for:

Actress of the Year
Imelda Staunton

British Director of the Year
Mike Leigh

British Film of the Year

British Screenwriter of the Year
Mike Leigh

British Supporting Actor of the Year
Philip Davis

Won the LAFCA Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Won the NSFC Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Won the NYFCC Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Won the SDFCS Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Best Picture

Best Screenplay, Original
Mike Leigh

Best Supporting Actor
Philip Davis

Won the Seattle Film Critics Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Won the TFCA Award for:

Best Performance, Female
Imelda Staunton

Won the VFCC Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

Won the Golden Lion for:
Best Film

Won the Volpi Cup for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

and
Won the WAFCA Award for:

Best Actress
Imelda Staunton

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Replies to This Discussion

Isn't this a remake?
nope - It is an original screenplay. Mike Leigh writes most of his films and much of the dialogue is not scripted!
I've seen Imelda Staunton in several films over the years, though I didn't like her much as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter. I didn't think she suited the character very well.
I've never seen a Harry Potter film. She was brilliant as the character of Vera Drake.
That she was.
Wow, we disagree again, Dallas! I thought Staunton was perfectly cast and written for the movies. She started off as a slightly comical if worrying teacher and progresses smoothly to a full blown nightmare. The comical touch that Staunton lent to Umbridge was beautiful to me.
I guess I'm a bit biased because I've listened to all the books on CD, as read by Jim Dale, several times. And in this case, his interpretation of Umbridge came to me before Staunton's did. Perhaps if I had never heard it, I would not think that of her characterization. If you've not listend to Dale read the books, you should. He does a wonderful job.
I agree. Vera Drake is an excellent film and Imelda Staunton does put in a superb performance. Indeed, the entire cast are consistently strong in this film. It's a very human film and one that manages to realistically and sympatetically examine the consequences of banning abortion.

It's a film that I would happily recommend to anyone.
100% agreement. An extremely touching and intimate movie.

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