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
David Lean Award for Direction
Won the following British Independent Film Awards:
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.