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Secrets & Lies Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Secrets & Lies

Rated R for language.

R In Theaters 09/23/1996 , 142min.
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Plot & Details

A family is forced to confront the personal issues they've been avoiding for years in this powerful, realistic drama. Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn) is a working-class British woman whose life has been a long series of painful disappointments. She's single with no romantic prospects and a dead-end job at a box factory. Her daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook) works as a street sweeper and is chronically bitter. Cynthia helped raise her brother, Maurice (Timothy Spall), who is doing well as a photographer, but she rarely sees him and usually blames his wife, Monica (Phyllis Logan). One day, Cynthia receives a phone call from a woman named Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), who claims to be the daughter Cynthia put up for adoption years ago. Cynthia initially reacts with panic, but she agrees to meet Hortense and is surprised to discover that she's a successful and soft-spoken eye doctor -- and that she's black. Cynthia is soon convinced that Hortense is just who she claims to be, and they quickly form a friendship that gives Cynthia a new source of emotional strength. However, when Cynthia decides to introduce the family to her new "friend," it forces them to confront the lies and evasions that have kept them apart all these years. Largely improvised by director Mike Leigh and his cast, Secrets & Lies features standout work by Brenda Blethyn (who earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (who was nominated as Best Supporting Actress), and Timothy Spall.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Mike Leigh Nominated
1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Mike Leigh Nominated
1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actress Brenda Blethyn Nominated
1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste Nominated
1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Simon Channing-Williams Nominated

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Brenda Blethyn Won

Cannes Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Won
1996 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Brenda Blethyn Won

Directors Guild of America

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Directors Guild of America Best Director Mike Leigh Nominated

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Picture Won
1996 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actress Brenda Blethyn Won
1996 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Director Mike Leigh Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 National Board of Review Best Picture Nominated

National Society of Film Critics

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1996 National Society of Film Critics Best Director (Runner-up) Mike Leigh Won
1996 National Society of Film Critics Best Picture (Runner-up) Won
1996 National Society of Film Critics Best Actress - Runner-up Brenda Blethyn Won

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