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Detective Inspector Webster: What is it that you do, Mrs Drake? Long pause Vera: I help young girls out. 'Vera is a force of nature in a floral pinny, ministering tea and sympathy to anyone who needs it in a down-at-heel postwar London. She also has a secret. Vera is a backstreet abortionist' - Wendy Ide, "Times". 'This could be Mike Leigh's masterpiece: that is, his masterpiece so far, because at 61 years old, he shows every sign of entering a glorious late period of artistry and power' - Peter Bradshaw, "Guardian".
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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. His latest film is All or Nothing (2002).
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