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Vera Drake (2004)

Mike Leigh

Born in Salford, Manchester, in 1943, Mike Leigh has developed a unique method of creating films through controlled improvisations. After his debut Bleak Moments (1971) he made a succession of admired TV plays, including Abigail's Party and Nuts in May. He then returned to feature films: High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993). Secrets and Lies won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1996. Topsy-Turvy (1999) won two Oscars. All or Nothing followed in 2002. Since then he has made the Oscar-nominated Vera Drake (2004), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010). He also did Two Thousand Years for the National Theatre in 2005. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh

Faber and Faber, 2008

Book chapter

...London, 1950. Vera Drake ( Imelda Staunton) lives in a small flat with her husband Stan ( Phil Davis) and their two grown-up children, Sid ( Daniel Mays) and Ethel ( Alex Kelly). Vera works as a cleaner...

Melodrama and Tradition in Vera Drake and Another Year

Devised and Directed by Mike Leigh

Bloomsbury Academic, 2013

Book chapter

...Part-way through Mike Leigh’s 2004 film, Vera Drake, the director reveals the film’s namesake’s guilty secret. Vera (Imelda Staunton) is an illegal abortionist, and is seen visiting a young pregnant girl to perform an operation. The scene...

Cultural Stillbirth

Bryan Cardinale-Powell

Bryan Cardinale-Powell is Visiting Professor of Moving Image Arts at Oklahoma City University, US. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Devised and Directed by Mike Leigh

Bloomsbury Academic, 2013

Book chapter

...Modestly budgeted feature films like Vera Drake (2004) often rely on the ‘free publicity’ of newspaper reviews and word-of-mouth to bolster audience attendance.According to Variety, the estimated production budget for Vera Drake...

Introduction

Marc DiPaolo

Marc DiPaolo is Assistant Professor of English and Film at Oklahoma City University, US. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Devised and Directed by Mike Leigh

Bloomsbury Academic, 2013

Book chapter

...Renowned for making films that are at once sly domestic satires and heartbreaking ‘social realist’ dramas, British writer-director Mike Leigh confronts his viewers with an un-romanticized dramatization of modern-day society in the hopes...