Pro-Abortion Film Continues to Rack Up Awards, Golden Globe Nomination

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Film Continues to Rack Up Awards, Golden Globe Nomination

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 13, 2004

Los Angeles, CA ( — A film that celebrates a cleaning lady who helps women obtain illegal abortions continues to rack up film critic awards and nominations for others.

"Vera Drake" took home awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association over the weekend as top acting honors went to Imelda Staunton, who plays the lead role in the pro-abortion film.

Staunton was also honored at the 17th European Film Awards where the British actress also captured the best actress award.

Meanwhile, contenders for the prestigious Golden Globe awards have been announced and Staunton has been nominated for the best dramatic lead actress award.

Golden Globes are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of about 90 reports for foreign news outlets. However, the awards are often a good indicator for who will be top prospects to receive Academy Awards and Oscars.

Vera Drake, named best film at the Venice Film Festival of 2004, is set in the 1950s. Vera is a cleaning lady who "helps girls out" when they are pregnant and considering an illegal abortion.

One woman who has a covert abortion is a mother of seven who says she can’t afford another child, another is fearful of telling her husband she had an affair.

Vera believes it is her duty to help the women have abortions, but hides her actions from her family. She visits women in their homes and helps them obtain secret abortions she performs at hospitals — until she is jailed when one of the women is injured as a result.

Staunton is reportedly being considered for an Oscar for her role in the film.

In October, producer Mike Leigh told Ananova press that he is proud of the film and the pro-abortion message it conveys.

"I’m pro-choice but I hope this is a film that does not bludgeon the audience in black and white. It’s a moral dilemma," Leigh said.

Vera Drake also swept the British Independent Film Awards taking six top honors and Imelda Staunton snatched another Best Actress honor.

Staunton has admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle that she worries about abortion becoming illegal again in the United States.

"Everyone is pro- or anti-, but it’s not going to go away. (But) if the laws change and it becomes illegal, it could go back to how it was in the film," Staunton said.

In addition to capturing the Golden Lion prize at Venice, Vera Drake also garnered the Best Actress award.

The film had been rejected earlier in the year by the Cannes festival.