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Secrets & Lies (1996)

 -  Drama  -  25 October 1996 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 24,604 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 121 user | 61 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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Airs Fri. Dec. 19, 8:35 AM on TMC

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Title: Secrets & Lies (1996)

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 38 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

[last lines]
Cynthia Purley: This is the life, innit sweethearts?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in ER: Secrets and Lies (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

Winning performances
25 October 2004 | by (Carrboro, NC, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a lovely, small film with beautiful performances by Brenda Blethyn and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. It is filled with comical moments that balance out some of the heavier parts of the film. My heart went out to the two lead characters as they struggled to make sense of the mutual bond unearthed by Ms. Jean-Baptiste's character. At once confused, hurt, shocked and afraid, Ms. Blethyn is completely convincing in her role. I was moved by her decision to enter into a relationship with this woman whom she had never before met. Perhaps the fact that Ms. Blethyn and Ms. Jean-Baptiste had never been introduced prior to the scene in which their two characters meet added to the realism of that moment. And Ms. Jean-Baptiste's portrayal of a woman who is surprised by her discovery and not a little disappointed was dead-on, as is her dogged determination to get what she came after.

If you are searching for a movie brimming with action, special effects, and/or blockbuster stars you need to pass this over. But if you are in the mood for a film that offers winning performances and an entertaining storyline that grows out of human interaction, this is the one you're looking for! "Secrets & Lies" is a gem of a movie!


51 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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
Did Anyone Like Monica? AzaleaRose
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