London, 1950: Vera Drake lives with her husband Stan and their grown-up children, Sid and Ethel. They are not rich, but they are a happy, close-knit family. Vera cleans houses, Stan is a mechanic in his brother's garage, Sid works for a tailor and Ethel works in a factory testing lightbulbs. But selfless Vera has a sideline, which she keeps secret from all those around her. Without accepting payment she helps young women to end their unwanted pregnancies.
Slow moving but superb acting
- Vera Drake review by Pete W
Mike Leigh invokes the atmosphere of London in 1950 perfectly. Vera Drake is an ordinary caring housewife and mother with a secret which eventually shames herself and her family. The only slightly heavy handed part of the story overemphasises the "one law for the rich, one for the poor" point which the film makes. Excellent acting all round with not a weak cast member but Imelda Staunton is a revelation.