What a strange movie this was! I liked it a lot. Vera Drake is rather monochromatic in every way. There is one steady, low, sweet, drab tone to it. Once the narrative peaks and Vera is caught, she cries basically through the rest of the movie. A seeping, hopeless kind of crying that is in key with the tenor of the first part of the movie, so that it doesn't feel like there are any highs and lows.
The acting and mood were so well done that the fact that the movie left me unsatisfied was obscured. No real motivation is provided for why Vera performs these abortions (for free) and why it was so important to her that kept it from her family. Actually, that was kind of the most powerful aspect emotionally: her having this huge, huge secret revealed. She really had a double life for twenty years with her family, going out and committing a felony on a weekly basis. In fact, because her actions didn't really make sense, in that the motivation was barely touched on, it seemed to me more like a shameful, compulsive perversity rather than a noble, mission-driven stance.