In a poor working class London home Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry, but when an unexpected tragedy occurs, they and their local community are brought together, and they rediscover their love.
Set in the 1880s, the story of how, during a creative dry spell, the partnership of the legendary musical/theatrical writers Gilbert and Sullivan almost dissolves, before they turn it all around and write the Mikado.
Vera Drake is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days 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.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The main actors rehearsed the movie with Mike Leigh for as long as six months before shooting started. This included: discussions about the script and the characters -- each character's biography was outlined from birth; documentation about the period -- actors read, watched and listened to period archives that their characters would have been exposed to, e.g. books, newspapers, movies, TV programs, and radio programs; improvisation of scenes, whether they were ultimately used in the movie or not. This kind and amount of effort explains the "real life" feeling of the movie. See more »
Vera's sister-in-law Joyce says she wants a washing machine which costs "25 pounds." Until decimalization in 1971, most luxury goods, like washing machines and men's suits, were priced in guineas, not pounds (one guinea = one pound one shilling, or one pound five pence in decimal). Some stores, particularly those wishing to appeal to the middle class or aspiring to a degree of 'poshness', priced items in pounds. Throughout the 1960s most domestic items were priced in pounds, shillings, and pence. Services and professions continued to charge in guineas until much later. In the film, an abortion costs two guineas. See more »
Hello George, only me. How are you going today?
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After the end credits it says: "In loving memory of my parents, a doctor and a midwife." See more »
I have been a longtime fan of Mike Leigh, always fascinated to see his slice of life take on England. Because of his well known creative process, the intrigue would be to see the actors and the characters and dramas (and comedies) they created. They were always worth watching in a voyeuristic way due to Leigh's unobtrusive camera work.
Vera Drake is well worth seeing for these same reasons, but Leigh has made a bigger and better movie than ever before, even with all of Topsy Turvy's bombast. His ambitions as director are greater than ever. First of all, to take on the subject of abortion is very brave. But I'll leave that for others to discuss. What was of interest to me from the opening shot was that this was going to be a visual tour de force, and it was.
Painting the scenes in dark, crushing browns and greens, with tight camera angles or letting the light in, each scene had the feel of a well thought out canvas, even the cut aways between scenes were new, inventive and beautiful.
And the acting is great and the scenes of the family interacting in close quarters, moving in synch are so pitch perfect you feel they have been doing this for decades.
So if you're thinking of seeing this movie, sit back, relax, and prepare to be taken on a slow, masterful ride.
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