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Friday, August 29, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Vera Drake cinematronic
  director

Mike Leigh

cast

Imelda Staunton, Phil Davis, Daniel Mays, Alex Kelly, Richard Graham, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan, Lesley Manville, Fenella Woolgar, Anna Keaveney, Sally Hawkins

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  As a dowdy, yet cheery and benevolent working-class woman whose altruism leads her into a terrible predicament, marginally-known British stage, TV and film actress Imelda Staunton gives a performance in "Vera Drake" that elevates her to the upper reaches of her profession. It's only a few years after World War II, and England is slowly recovering from its post-war malaise. Vera (Staunton) and husband Stan (Phil Davis), a diligent mechanic, are proud parents, loyal friends, considerate neighbors and good citizens. She prizes her children, encouraging her son in his career as a tailor, and playing matchmaker for her timid daughter. But, in addition to her work as a cleaning woman for the well-off and a nurse to the needy, Vera performs an illegal service, gratis, for desperate parties. Gently and optimistically, she helps terminate unwanted pregnancies at the potential cost of ruining her life and devastating her loved ones. With exacting period detail, British writer/director Mike Leigh forges a strong, unsensationalized social drama, putting a vulnerable human face on a moral and political issue that still provokes divisiveness and outrage today. "Vera Drake" is one of Leigh's finest films, high praise for the man who made "Secrets & Lies," "Life is Sweet," "High Hopes," "Naked" and "Topsy-Turvy" — all superb. And Staunton's vivid, multifaceted, haunting Vera must be seen.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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