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Secrets & Lies (1996)

R | | Drama | 28 February 1997 (USA)
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A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 34 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English | Greek

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secrets & Lies See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,813, 29 September 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,417,292, 18 May 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The restaurant where Cynthia and Hortense meet for lunch is "Pasta Plus Restaurant", a family-run Italian restaurant on 62 Eversholt Street, Camden, London. The restaurant is still open to the public (Monday to Saturday) and is very close to Euston station. 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

Monica Purley: Can't miss what you never had!
Maurice: Can't you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest Films (2001) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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