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R| 2 hr. 22 min.

Plot Summary
After her adoptive mother dies, Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), a successful black eye doctor, seeks out her birth mother. She's shocked when her research leads her to a lower-class white woman, Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn). At first Cynthia denies the claim, but she eventually admits to birthing Hortense as a teenager, and the two begin to bond. However, when Cynthia invites Hortense to a family barbecue, Cynthia's already tense relationship with her family becomes even more complicated.

Cast: Timothy Spall , Brenda Blethyn , Phyllis Logan , Marianne Jean-Baptiste , Claire Rushbrook , Ron Cook , Lesley Manville , Elizabeth Berrington

Director: Mike Leigh

Genres: Drama

Distributor: October Films

Secrets & Lies (1996)

Release Date: September 23rd, 1996|2 hr. 22 min.

critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 100
    Edward Guthmann San Francisco Chronicle

    Leigh goes right to the core of his character's lives and mines the place where we're weakest, most alone and sometimes the cruelest. show more

  • 100
    Mike Clark USA Today

    Blethyn is so astonishing that you forget you're seeing a performance. show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    It moves us on a human level, it keeps us guessing during scenes as unpredictable as life, and it shows us how ordinary people have a chance of somehow coping with their problems, which are rather ordinary, too. show more

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