Vera Drake Mike Leigh

It's certainly not unlike Mike Leigh to pen a depressing script, but he usually balances out his depictions of working class life in England with a sense of humour to ease the pain. Vera Drake doesn't quite follow this formula, never approaching comedy and leaving the viewer as bewildered and blue as our beloved lead's family and friends. Vera Drake is a wonderful woman who means only good with her daily routines. The way she cleans up and takes care of those in need makes you wish she was your mum, but she has a dark secret that even her own family knows nothing about. Vera assists women in the early stages of pregnancy with terminating a problem they can not handle at such a young age, or never asked for. The word "abortion" is seldom used in Leigh's script, and the way Vera explains her actions as being nothing more than helping those in need makes you almost turn the other way and forgive her. The fact of the matter though is that after one woman nearly dies from her unhealthy methods, there really is no question that Vera has to be stopped before she caused more harm. Her guiltiness is a no-brainer but it's heart-breaking to see the woman you wished was your mother being brought down by the judicial system, battling the prolonged agony and collapse that occurs within Vera's life, along with dealing with those she kept this secret from for years. Like all of Leigh's films, Vera Drake is incredible in both the script and the untouchable level of talent from its cast, including the Oscar-nominated performance from Imelda Stuaton. It's just that the rollercoaster of emotions with this one is hard to cope with; it's a giant climb to the top and the anticipated fall that doesn't stop. Like most of Leigh's films on DVD, this comes with zero extras, but that shouldn't stop people from seeing this emotional, important film. (Alliance Atlantis)