Vera Drake

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Mike Leigh
Production: New Line Cinema
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 40 wins & 40 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min

Hello, George.

Only me.

How are you

today, dear?

Having a little doze,

or just resting your eyes?

I'll make you

a fresh cup.

Shan't be a minute.

Couple of biscuits.

Here you are then, dear.

That better?

Yes, thank you.

- A little bit...

- A bit more?

There. Do you need

anything else, dear?

You sure?

Drink your tea up

before it gets cold.

I'll be on

my way.

Tell Ivy I was asking

after her, won't you?

And don't get up

to any mischief.

Ta ta, dear.

- Hello, Reg.

- Afternoon, Mrs. Drake.

- You all right, dear?

- Can't complain.

- Going off for your tea?

- Yes.

- What you having?

- Bit of bread 'n dripping.

- That all?

- Cup of tea.

Look after yourself, Reg.

I told you.

You ought to come over to our

house for tea one night.

- I don't want to put you out.

- Oh, don't be daft.

What about tomorrow?

You could come over after work.

You know where we are.

Number 82.

I'll feed you up a bit.

Do you fancy that?

- You sure?

- Be no trouble, Reg.

- Go on, then.

- Oh, lovely.

See you tomorrow, then.

Now don't you forget!

- Hello, Nellie.

- All right, Vera?

- Isn't it cold?

- Yes.

That's better.

Nice cup of tea.

- That you, Ethel?

- Hello, Mom.

- Nippy today, weren't it?

- Yes.

Ooh. Hold up,


- 'Scuse, Mom.

- What you doing?

I'm washing me hands

like you told me to.

- Oh, yes. Your dad's here.

- Hello, Dad.

- Hello, Mom. You all right, Ethel?

- Yes.

- All right, Dad?

- Yes, thank you.

- Good day?

- Not bad, you?

- Can't complain.

- Oh, Ethel. Take the teapot through.

God, I'm starving.

I could eat an 'orse.

Wash your hands, Dad,

I'll put the tin on the table.

Just get me

slippers on.

Well he's all on his tod, ain't he?

Seems a nice enough fellow, though.

- Oh yes. Hard worker.

- Is he the little bloke... bald?

- No.

- No. Stocky fellow.

- Lives opposite.

- Oh, yes. Does he?

I shouldn't wonder he don't have bread

and dripping every night.

There ain't nothing wrong

with bread and dripping.

Not every night.

- I wouldn't mind.

- Oh yes? Like to see your face

If I put bread and dripping on the table

every teatime.

No, I'll do him

a nice stew.

- Can we have dumplings, Mom?

- Of course, we can.

- I love a dumpling.

- You are a dumpling.

- Oh, that's nice.

- What you got your work clothes on for?

It's a Tuesday, Dad.

I've got me night school.

- Oh, yes.

- That's right.

I've gotta leave

in a minute.


I'm meeting David

this evening.

You're looking

very flat-chested.

Have you

lost weight?

I don't know.

That was lovely, Vera.

Thank you very much.

- Very tasty.

- You're welcome, I'm sure.

Why don't you sit on the settee, Reg?

Make yourself at home.

Yeah, Reg. Sit down.

We'll have a smoke.

Make a fresh pot,


- Here we are.

- Nah, go on.

- Sid?

- Oh, cheers, mate.

How's work

going, Stan?

- Was it motors?

- Motor mechanic, yes.

Well, they bring 'em in.

We mend 'em, push 'em back out again.

It's just the two of us, see?

Me and my brother.

Oh, a family

business like?

Well, it's Frank's business.

I work for him... with him.

Have you always worked

on the roads, then, Reg?

- No. I started in the war.

- Oh.

Oh, what kind of war effort

did you have, Reg?

- The pioneer corps.

- Oh, yes?

We laid tarmac

on the American bases.

- Did you?

- We did.

- Went out in France... 1940.

- You was out there early?

Dunkirk. We done a running when they

broke through.

Then we went out

a few days after D-day.

Same as you, Dad.

'Bout a month after D-day,

we went out there.

- Just after the battle of Caen.

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Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh (born 20 February 1943) is an English writer and director of film and theatre. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) before honing his directing skills at East 15 Acting School and further at the Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid-1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between theatre work and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterised by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. His well-known films include the comedy-dramas Life is Sweet (1990) and Career Girls (1997), the Gilbert and Sullivan biographical film Topsy-Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are the black comedy-drama Naked (1993), for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the Oscar-nominated, BAFTA and Palme d'Or-winning drama Secrets & Lies (1996), the Golden Lion winning working-class drama Vera Drake (2004), and the Palme d'Or nominated biopic Mr. Turner (2014). Some of his notable stage plays include Smelling A Rat, It's A Great Big Shame, Greek Tragedy, Goose-Pimples, Ecstasy, and Abigail's Party.Leigh is known for his lengthy rehearsal and improvisation techniques with actors to build characters and narrative for his films. His purpose is to capture reality and present "emotional, subjective, intuitive, instinctive, vulnerable films." His aesthetic has been compared to the sensibility of the Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu. His films and stage plays, according to critic Michael Coveney, "comprise a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone's in the British theatre and cinema over the same period." Coveney further noted Leigh's role in helping to create stars – Liz Smith in Hard Labour, Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, Brenda Blethyn in Grown-Ups, Antony Sher in Goose-Pimples, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in Meantime, Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet, David Thewlis in Naked—and remarked that the list of actors who have worked with him over the years—including Paul Jesson, Phil Daniels, Lindsay Duncan, Lesley Sharp, Kathy Burke, Stephen Rea, Julie Walters – "comprises an impressive, almost representative, nucleus of outstanding British acting talent." Ian Buruma, writing in The New York Review of Books in January 1994, noted: "It is hard to get on a London bus or listen to the people at the next table in a cafeteria without thinking of Mike Leigh. Like other wholly original artists, he has staked out his own territory. Leigh's London is as distinctive as Fellini's Rome or Ozu's Tokyo." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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