Reviews

Vera Drake

4

Abortion tragedy but not message-picture, working-class drama but never soap-opera; Mike Leigh serves Vera Drake his way: sugar-free and brewed strong. Bustling through dreary post-war London, Imelda Staunton wows as the cheery cleaner/carer/mother/wife with a secret sideline in backstreet terminations and an unstoppable supply of tea and sympathy (imagine a kindly care-worker designed by CyberDyne Systems). But hers is just one of the effortlessly brilliant performances that light up this vivid '50s time-capsule. Forget the class-jabs - it's the warm breath of Leigh's humanism you'll feel. And never more so than at the moment of Vera's wrenching implosion: Staunton's innocent joy melting into an agonised death-mask of terror and pain as the police gatecrash Christmas to shatter her world.

Film Details

  • 12A
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: June 1st 2005

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