Parents' Guide to

Vera Drake

By Tony Nigro, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Tender, quality presentation of touchy subject.

Movie R 2004 125 minutes
Vera Drake Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Staunton is strong and carries the film beautifully!

Mike Leigh's Vera Drake is a stunner of a film. Much is said about the "authenticity" of this period piece and of course it's all true. Leigh offers a convincing portrayal of 1950s working class London. The film takes its time, setting up the context and of course its main protagonist as ordinary and uneventful. Both a mundane look at abortion and in its mundaneness is also its extraordinariness. The real kicker comes at the end after the long and drawn out and painful ordeal and Leigh offers his strongest point when Drake converses with her peers in the final scene. Staunton is stunning and plays the moment so close to the bone.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This film is strictly for adults, but VERA DRAKE is a heavy film no matter what your age. Director Mike Leigh paints a sympathetic picture of Vera, who performs the abortions not for money but only to, as she puts it, "help young girls." So the film is not really a about abortion rights as much as it is about people caught up in complicated situations.

A British drama through and through, the movie's pacing could prove tedious for some. Yet, even when the film's last half becomes weighed down by legal proceedings and family conflict, it continues to pack an emotional whollop. In a very mature film about a very divisive topic, Vera's humble face is enough to tug any heartstring. When she hears of the one girl's near-death experience, her eyes well up and stay that way for the last hour of the film. This is fine-tuned acting.

Movie Details

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