Impeccable performance from Staunton, wonderful direction from Leigh.
Vera Drake is a 2004 British drama film written and directed by Mike Leigh, telling the story of a working-class woman in London in 1950 who performs illegal abortions. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and it was nominated for three Academy Awards and won three BAFTAs.
Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton) is devoted to her family, looking after her husband and children, her elderly mother, and a sick neighbour. Her shy daughter, Ethel (Alex Kelly), works in a lightbulb factory, and son, Sid (Daniel Mays), tailors men's suits. Her husband, Stanley (Phil Davis), is a car mechanic. Although Vera and her family are poor, their strong family bonds hold them together, and we see Vera's constant small acts of kindness to the many people she encounters throughout her day. Vera works as a house cleaner. However, unbeknownst to her family, she also serves as a backroom abortionist. She receives no money for this, believing her help to be an act of charity. However, Lily (Ruth Sheen),...