Vera Drake

Director: Mike Leigh
Year Released: 2004
Rating: 2.5

Abortionist-with-a-heart-of-gold (Imelda Staunton) "helps" out girls "in trouble" but predictably, she finds herself apprehended by those nasty puritans and tossed in jail. Intended as a test of your liberal ire, it's successful as a narrative for only its first half, documenting in standard Leigh fashion the underclass struggling to make ends meet before turning into a pity party for the second half, punishing a good-intentioned simpleton. Staunton puts on an acting clinic, but the basic point was made early on: the need for safe, sterilized abortion procedures by professionals for all, regardless of income/social standing. Makes sense in a year where whispers of repealing Roe v. Wade were making their way around the United States by the Religious Right and other bigots.