Tuesday, May 24, 2005
If you haven't already seen this film, stop whatever you are doing, go to Blockbuster and rent it now.
We just sat saying "wow" all the way through. It's a film about a woman who does backstreet abortions for "girls in trouble". It's quite amazing - none of her family know what she does and she goes about it in a very matter of fact way, just part of daily life. She doesn't get paid for it, she just does it because she believes people need it and have no-one else to turn to.
The film is strong and extremely moving, and harrowing in places, following what happens as Vera gets found out and her family discover what she's been doing all this time. Whilst you know that what she does is a criminal offence, you can't help but be on her side as an old lady who just did what she believed was right.
On top of all that, Mike Leigh directed the entire film by improvisation. He also kept the actors at the same knowledge levels as their characters - until the police turn up, none of the actors playing Vera's family have any idea that anything is happening.