Vera Drake

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Written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Mike Leigh and set in England during the 1950s, this movie revolves around Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton), whose unrelenting dedication to her family is well known throughout her blue-collar town. However, there are more people than her rapidly aging mother and ill neighbor who depend on Vera's care. Though abortion was illegal and, of course, widely frowned upon in the '50s, Vera sees women going through unwanted pregnancies the same as she would anyone else -- human beings deserving of treatment. With this in mind, she regularly induces miscarriages for those who need them, and her patients are consistently grateful for her gentleness and understanding. Unfortunately for Vera, the law doesn't see her as aiding those in need; they interpret the abortions as murder, as do most of the other people in her life. When Vera's activities are revealed, her family life and relationships with those around her -- including the ones she helped nurse back to health -- are put in jeopardy. Vera Drake also features performances from Jim Broadbent, Heather Craney, and Philip Davis. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi