8.0/10
36,786
160 user 59 critic

Secrets & Lies (1996)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
Following the death of her adoptive parents, a successful young black optometrist establishes contact with her biological mother -- a lonely white factory worker living in poverty in East London.

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Spall ... Maurice
Phyllis Logan ... Monica
Brenda Blethyn ... Cynthia
Claire Rushbrook ... Roxanne
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Hortense
Elizabeth Berrington ... Jane
Michele Austin ... Dionne
Lee Ross ... Paul
Lesley Manville ... Social Worker
Ron Cook ... Stuart
Emma Amos ... Girl with Scar
Brian Bovell Brian Bovell ... Hortense's Brother
Trevor Laird Trevor Laird ... Hortense's Brother
Clare Perkins Clare Perkins ... Hortense's Sister-in-Law
Elias Perkins McCook Elias Perkins McCook ... Hortense's Nephew
Edit

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:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Leigh and Brenda Blethyn were both born on February 20th. Mike is exactly 3 years older than her. See more »

Goofs

When Roxanne pushes Cynthia onto the bed, the shadow of a crew member's head is seen moving on the bed. See more »

Quotes

Maurice: She can't help it; she never had enough love
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Famous in Love: Secrets & Pies (2017) 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 Roxanne's birthday party
See more »

User Reviews

So Brilliant
27 March 2004 | by mettledSee all my reviews

I wish the USA had a director like Mike Leigh. His movies are amazing. "Secrets & Lies" traces the pain we often hold inside along with our secrets and the catharsis that can come by revealing them. Lives of quiet desperation within a family gradually find healing in this movie about adoption, children and the walls we build around ourselves for protection. There is a poignant metaphor in the brother Morris' career as a photographer, as his subjects attempt to cover the stories in their faces long enough to smile for the camera. This is an intense movie but it is not without beauty and hope.


54 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 160 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English | Greek

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secrets & Lies See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,813, 29 September 1996

Gross USA:

$13,417,292

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,417,292
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed