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Secrets & Lies (1996)

 -  Drama  -  25 October 1996 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 23,881 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 119 user | 59 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

Successful black woman traces her birth mother to a lower-class white woman, who denies it; emotions run high as everyone's secrets are exposed.

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Title: Secrets & Lies (1996)

Secrets & Lies (1996) on IMDb 8/10

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Monica Purley
...
...
...
...
Jane
Michele Austin ...
Dionne
...
Paul
...
Social Worker
...
Stuart
Emma Amos ...
Girl with Scar
Brian Bovell ...
Hortense's Brother
Trevor Laird ...
Hortense's Brother
Clare Perkins ...
Hortense's Sister-in-Law
Elias Perkins McCook ...
Hortense's Nephew
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Storyline

Cynthia lives in London with her sullen street-sweeper daughter. Her brother has been successful with his photographer's business and now lives nearby in a more upmarket house. But Cynthia hasn't even been invited round there after a year. So, all round, she feels rather lonely and isolated. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Hortense, adopted at birth but now grown up, starts to try and trace her mother. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Roxanne drives her mother crazy. Maurice never speaks to his niece. Cynthia has a shock for her family. Monica can't talk to her husband. Hortense has never met her mother.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secrets & Lies  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

JPY 8,507,150 (Japan) (20 December 1996)

Gross:

$13,417,292 (USA) (16 May 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the script was improvised. Writer/director Mike Leigh told each of the actors what his/her part in the story was and they each developed their own characters. See more »

Goofs

Cynthia's address on Hortense's birth certificate is shown as Quilter St, London SE17. The first time Hortense drives there, the street sign shows Quilter St, E2. See more »

Quotes

Cynthia Purley: But sweetheart, I can't be your mother!
Hortense Cumerbatch: Why not?
Cynthia Purley: Well... look at me!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Secrets and Loans (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
Words by Patty S. Hill & Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill)
© Keith Prowse Music Pub Co. Ltd./EMI
Sung by the family at Hortense's birthday party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Magic
19 August 2002 | by (London) – See all my reviews

The way Leigh weaves a story here - no screenplay, just tell the actors what the scenes are supposed to do, give them an outline, but don't give away the punch line or the ending - shows up in the final print. This is cinematic magic, with Blethyn turning in one of the most breathtaking performances ever seen on the silver screen. The transformation into Cynthia Purley is total. Study especially the scene in the cafe in Holborn - story has it these two principals had not met before shooting this scene, and the scene goes on forever, and puts incredible demands on both actors, especially Blethyn, who is simply unreal in her abilities. All do a great job here. This is not a light comedy. It will tear at you, thanks in part to the evocative music, but at the end you will go 'wow' and feel good for having seen it.


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Hortence's Father lps_darlo
Hortense's wardrobe cyweyman
Hortense is supposed to be mixed race??? markcody
How Could She Not Know Patty-76
Secrets and Lies is a poor film...worst film I've seen. willywonka-3
mike leigh, some critisisms rollingstone2001
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