We walked into the Crest to find the 4:45 showing of Vera Drake 95% full. It was amazing - where had all of those people come from? As the final scene faded out and the lights came up, we all seemed stunned. "Wow." "That was intense." I love that in Seattle we can pack a theater full to see a movie that left us feeling exhausted. It was really, really good, as I would expect of a Mike Leigh movie; intense scenes between the family, realistic dialogue throughout, and a willingness to accept silence on screen far beyond when most Hollywood types would have cut. Every performance was great, and the cinematography, while low key, was a pleasure; claustrophobic apartments, the warmness of Vera's family's home, and the delight of both natural and incandescent lighting in the same scene. To make it extra juicy, the director got in some political points very subtlely. It's a shame that so few people will ultimately see this movie, but I rate it among the best of the year. A very fitting #51.