• Secrets & Lies (1996)

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Release Date: September 23rd, 1996

DVD Release Date: February 1st, 2005

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

Production Co: Thin Man Films, Channel Four Films

Ratings & Reviews

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  • Represents the director at his best -- unsentimental yet powerful, funny and poignant, and, in the end, undeniably satisfying. show more

  • 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

  • Leigh is an artist not at all blind to the world's darkness and pain. But the generosity and togetherness he and his company show in Secrets and Lies is something the movies -- and the world -- truly need. [25 October 1996, Friday, p.A]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com