Vera Drake (2004)

Wife. Mother. Criminal.

Original Title : Vera Drake
Director : Mike Leigh
Writer : Mike Leigh
Genre : Drama
Country : UK
New Zealand
Language : English
Producer : Simon Channing-Williams , Gail Egan , Christine Gozlan , Robert Jones (IV) , Georgina Lowe , Duncan Reid , Alain Sarde
Music : Andrew Dickson (I)
Photography : Dick Pope
MPAA Rating : Rated R for depiction of strong thematic material.
IMDB ID : 0383694
Official site :
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poster for "Vera Drake" by Mike Leigh (2004)
Vera Drake (2004) - Mike Leigh


Imelda Staunton Vera
Richard Graham I
Eddie Marsan Reg
 Stan (as Phil Davis
 Mrs Wells
Sally Hawkins Susan
Simon Chandler Mr Wells
Sam Troughton David
Marion Bailey Mrs Fowler
Sandra Voe Vera's mother
Chris O'Dowd Sid's customer
Adrian Scarborough Frank
Heather Craney Joyce
 Very young woman
Sid Mitchell I
Gerard Monaco Kenny
Ruth Sheen Lily
Tilly Vosburgh Mother of Seven
 Sick Husband
Heather Louise Cameron Child (as Heather Cameron
Billie Cook Child
Nina Fry Dance Hall Girl
Lauren Holden Dance Hall Girl
Elizabeth Berrington Cynical Lady
Emma Amos Cynical Lady
Fenella Woolgar Susan's Confidante
Joanna Griffiths Peggy
Wendy Nottingham Ivy
Nicky Henson Private Doctor
Angie Wallis Nurse Willoughby
Judith Scott III
Vinette Robinson Jamaican Girl
Rosie Cavaliero Married Woman
Lesley Sharp Jessie Barnes
Liz White III
Anthony O'Donnell Mr. Walsh
Lucy Pleasance Sister Coombes
 Det. Inspector Webster
Martin Savage Det. Sergeant Vickers
Helen Coker WPC Best
Tom Ellis II
Robert Putt Station Sergeant
Craig Conway Station Constable
Jake Wood Ruffian
Vincent Franklin Mr. Lewis
Michael Gunn I
Paul Jesson Magistrate's Clerk
Paul Raffield Judge
Philip Childs Prosecution Barrister
Jeffrey Wickham Defense Barrister (as Jeffry Wickham
Nicholas Jones I
Stephan Dunbar Prisoner
Angela Curran Prisoner
Jane Wood II
Eileen Davies Prison Officer
David House II


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.


One observation: When the police arrive at the home of Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton) to confront her about the allegation that she has been conducting illegal abortions, she and her family are celebrating her daughter's engagement. When the cops enter the room, the camera freezes on Vera's face. Over the course of about 45 seconds in which she doesn't say a word, Staunton's face registers every possible emotion: Joy, confusion, concern, fear, disgust, anger, guilt. It's heart-racing just to watch, and it's what acting -- great acting at least -- is all about. Staunton's is the one female performance of the year not to miss. (On the men's side, check out Morgan Freeman in MILLION DOLLAR BABY.)
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Vera Drake (2004) - Mike Leigh
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Vera Drake (2004) - Mike Leigh