Secrets and Lies

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Secrets and Lies


Director: Mike Leigh
Script: Mike Leigh
Photography: Dick Pope
Editing: Jon Gregory
Music: Andrei Dickson
Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Claire Rushbrook, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Timothy Spali, Phyllis Logan
Production: Simon Channing, Williams Thin Man Films – Ciby 2000
Distribution: Columbia Tristar
Year: 1996
Running Time: 137′
Country: Great Britain

Palm d’Or for Best Film and Best Actress Cannes Film festival 1996

Cynthia and Maurice, brother and sister, live in the suburbs of London. Cynthia lives with her daughter Roxanne and she doesn’t care for Monica, Maurice’s wife. Maurice decides to invite her to his house so they can all celebrate Roxanne’s twenty-first birthday together. In the meantime Cynthia is contacted by Hortense, a black woman. She c1aims that Cynthia is her mother and that she was given up for adoption soon after her birth. The two women meet, start to see each other on a regular basis, and begin to build an affectionate relationship. Cynthia asks her brother if she can bring a friend to the party, saying that she’s a colleague from work. The big day arrives and they are ali at Maurice and Monica’s house. Under everyone’s apparent cheer there is an undercurrent of tension. At a certain point the inevitable happens: Cynthia reveals that Hortense is her daughter. Soon other revelations follow. Finally after so many lies, the truth is told. Cynthia can go back to her own home with two daughters who are starting to feel like family.