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Vera Drake

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ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2005 | From Associated Press
"The Aviator" soared at the British Academy Film Awards, taking four prizes, including best film. The abortion drama "Vera Drake" won three, including best director for Mike Leigh. "The Aviator" -- which has 11 nominations for the Feb. 27 Academy Awards -- had led the field with 14 nominations. But members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts scattered the prizes widely.
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NEWS
November 18, 2010 | By Sam Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Mike Leigh's filmography is not lacking in emotionally draining high-wire performances ? Brenda Blethyn in "Secrets & Lies," David Thewlis in "Naked," Imelda Staunton in "Vera Drake," to name just a few. But there's a frayed-nerved quality to Lesley Manville's performance in Leigh's "Another Year" (opening Dec. 29) that's as raw as any of those. Manville plays Mary, an unattached middle-aged woman whose friendship with happily married co-worker Ruth Sheen grows increasingly desperate as her life falls apart.
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NEWS
December 2, 2004 | From Reuters
Mike Leigh's moving portrayal of a back-street abortionist in 1950s London swept the British Independent Film Awards late Tuesday, taking six awards, including best film and best director. "Vera Drake" also snared the best actress award for Imelda Staunton and best actor for Phil Davis.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 2007 | Mark Salisbury, Special to The Times
TWO years before she was offered the role of Dolores Jane Umbridge in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," a friend of Imelda Staunton's called her up to say he'd just read J.K. Rowling's book and that there was a part in it she'd be perfect for. "So I read it," Staunton says, "and thought, 'Small, squat, ugly, toad-like woman -- thanks a lot.'
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2004 | Carina Chocano, Times Staff Writer
"Vera DRAKE'S" 1950 England is unmistakably Mike Leigh's. A dreary, clamped-down cloister where familial affection, or any manifestation of feeling for that matter, falls exclusively to the working classes, it's clearly the place he's spent his entire career boring into.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2005 | Mary McNamara, Times Staff Writer
During last year's Oscar race, the only topic that was even vaguely controversial was whether it was possible, or fair, for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" to win all 11 of its nominated categories. (It did.) This year, as if in backlash against the dreamy-landscape-hobbit thing, Hollywood has honored feature films about genocide, abortion and euthanasia (as well as mental illness, artistic angst and alcoholism, but those are pretty much old standards, aren't they?).
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2004 | Matt Wolf, Special to The Times
Tell Imelda Staunton she is fast becoming a front-runner for this year's best actress Academy Award on the strength of her performance in "Vera Drake," and the British theater veteran immediately turns the compliment toward the movie itself. "People say, 'You might have an Oscar nomination,' and I say, 'Well, look, OK, if it happens, it happens,' " says the diminutive actress, who is as animated and voluble a real-life presence as her screen character, Vera, is movingly indrawn and quiet.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2005 | Mary McNamara, Times Staff Writer
When speaking of award-winning roles, actors often describe a dramatic moment of early epiphany, when the beauty of a script or the complexity of a character moved them to say: "Yes, yes, I'll do this one next." Imelda Staunton has had many transcendent moments associated with her much-lauded lead performance in "Vera Drake" -- including a best actress nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- but she never got that one.
NEWS
March 3, 2005
Howard Leff's "Action, Drama or Jerk?" (Feb. 24) left me confused and a bit perturbed. What does Howard's story about his ex-girlfriend (first paragraph) have to do with the films featured in the article? That is not quite as appalling as reading under the "Vera Drake" review that he "never saw it." If he never saw it, how can there be a review? And what does he mean then by the word "Yawn" that begins the "review"? Is he making the assumption that the film is boring? Reading on that he "sneaked over to 'The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie' instead" left me wondering why anyone would admit that.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 2007 | Mark Salisbury, Special to The Times
TWO years before she was offered the role of Dolores Jane Umbridge in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," a friend of Imelda Staunton's called her up to say he'd just read J.K. Rowling's book and that there was a part in it she'd be perfect for. "So I read it," Staunton says, "and thought, 'Small, squat, ugly, toad-like woman -- thanks a lot.'
NEWS
March 3, 2005
Howard Leff's "Action, Drama or Jerk?" (Feb. 24) left me confused and a bit perturbed. What does Howard's story about his ex-girlfriend (first paragraph) have to do with the films featured in the article? That is not quite as appalling as reading under the "Vera Drake" review that he "never saw it." If he never saw it, how can there be a review? And what does he mean then by the word "Yawn" that begins the "review"? Is he making the assumption that the film is boring? Reading on that he "sneaked over to 'The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie' instead" left me wondering why anyone would admit that.
NEWS
February 24, 2005 | Howard Leff, Special to The Times
Sorry to say, but the Academy Award nominations omitted a stellar performance in the best actress category: the date I had last fall who smiled and said, "No, I love it when you ramble on about how you drove your ex-girlfriend to the brink of insanity." Well, it is a pretty cute story. It's Oscar time again -- and that means another excuse to spend an entire Sunday night watching rich, talented, great-looking people gather to make fun of Star Jones' wedding.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2005 | Mary McNamara, Times Staff Writer
When speaking of award-winning roles, actors often describe a dramatic moment of early epiphany, when the beauty of a script or the complexity of a character moved them to say: "Yes, yes, I'll do this one next." Imelda Staunton has had many transcendent moments associated with her much-lauded lead performance in "Vera Drake" -- including a best actress nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- but she never got that one.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2005 | From Associated Press
"The Aviator" soared at the British Academy Film Awards, taking four prizes, including best film. The abortion drama "Vera Drake" won three, including best director for Mike Leigh. "The Aviator" -- which has 11 nominations for the Feb. 27 Academy Awards -- had led the field with 14 nominations. But members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts scattered the prizes widely.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2005 | Mary McNamara, Times Staff Writer
During last year's Oscar race, the only topic that was even vaguely controversial was whether it was possible, or fair, for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" to win all 11 of its nominated categories. (It did.) This year, as if in backlash against the dreamy-landscape-hobbit thing, Hollywood has honored feature films about genocide, abortion and euthanasia (as well as mental illness, artistic angst and alcoholism, but those are pretty much old standards, aren't they?).
NEWS
December 2, 2004 | From Reuters
Mike Leigh's moving portrayal of a back-street abortionist in 1950s London swept the British Independent Film Awards late Tuesday, taking six awards, including best film and best director. "Vera Drake" also snared the best actress award for Imelda Staunton and best actor for Phil Davis.
NEWS
February 24, 2005 | Howard Leff, Special to The Times
Sorry to say, but the Academy Award nominations omitted a stellar performance in the best actress category: the date I had last fall who smiled and said, "No, I love it when you ramble on about how you drove your ex-girlfriend to the brink of insanity." Well, it is a pretty cute story. It's Oscar time again -- and that means another excuse to spend an entire Sunday night watching rich, talented, great-looking people gather to make fun of Star Jones' wedding.
NEWS
November 18, 2010 | By Sam Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Mike Leigh's filmography is not lacking in emotionally draining high-wire performances ? Brenda Blethyn in "Secrets & Lies," David Thewlis in "Naked," Imelda Staunton in "Vera Drake," to name just a few. But there's a frayed-nerved quality to Lesley Manville's performance in Leigh's "Another Year" (opening Dec. 29) that's as raw as any of those. Manville plays Mary, an unattached middle-aged woman whose friendship with happily married co-worker Ruth Sheen grows increasingly desperate as her life falls apart.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2004 | Matt Wolf, Special to The Times
Tell Imelda Staunton she is fast becoming a front-runner for this year's best actress Academy Award on the strength of her performance in "Vera Drake," and the British theater veteran immediately turns the compliment toward the movie itself. "People say, 'You might have an Oscar nomination,' and I say, 'Well, look, OK, if it happens, it happens,' " says the diminutive actress, who is as animated and voluble a real-life presence as her screen character, Vera, is movingly indrawn and quiet.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2004 | Carina Chocano, Times Staff Writer
"Vera DRAKE'S" 1950 England is unmistakably Mike Leigh's. A dreary, clamped-down cloister where familial affection, or any manifestation of feeling for that matter, falls exclusively to the working classes, it's clearly the place he's spent his entire career boring into.
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