Vera Drake 

Drama | English | 125 minutes


Vera Drake is a middle-aged woman, living in England, caring for her husband, children, elderly mother,  and a sick neighbor. During her days as a house cleaner, Vera is helpful to those need. Unknown to her family, Vera also performs illegal abortions. Susan the daughter of one of Vera’s employers, was raped and seeks an abortion. The doctor she visits will only perform the abortion after a psychiatrist verifies that Susan has a history of mental illness and may commit suicide if she doesn’t have an abortion. When one of Vera’s patient dies, she is arrested, tried, and found guilty. The judge sentences her to two years  “as a deterrent to others.” In jail Vera meets other women who performed abortions and, under British law, are considered criminals.

Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) / Sally Hawkins (Susan)
Why Stream This Film?
Critic Amy Taubin wrote in her review that “VERA DRAKE is still an issue that sets moral compasses aquiver.” It’s the case both in England and the United States.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 92%
  • Metacritic Score: 83
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Imelda Staunton); Best Director (Mike Leigh); Best Screenplay (Mike Leigh)
  • Venice Film Festival: Winner, Best Director (Mike Leigh)
  • BAFTA Awards: Winner, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Imelda Staunton); Best Director (Mike Leigh)
  • Toronto Film Critics Association Awards: Winner, Best Performance by an Actress (Imelda Staunton)
Mike Leigh is at the peak of his powers with VERA DRAKE, a compassionate, morally complex drama that stands easily alongside his best works. While the drama is emotionally harrowing, it’s also riveting, profoundly affecting and observed with a real generosity of spirit.
David Rooney


VERA DRAKE is director Mike Leigh’s best work in a decade. The film is suffused with humanity rather than dogma. What defines Mr.Leigh as an artist are those times when his conscience and his art shake loose rancor and the filmmaker embraces the possibility of good not  just in himself, but in others.
Manohla Dargis

The New York Times

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