Secrets & Lies

1996

Action / Comedy / Drama

149
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 8 10 41604

Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO
February 27, 2015 at 02:41 PM

Director

Cast

Lee Ross as Paul
Peter Wight as Father in Family Group
Brian Bovell as Hortense's Brother
Ruth Sheen as Laughing Woman
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
934.28 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
R
24.000 fps
2 hr 16 min
P/S 0 / 1
2.06 GB
1920*1080
English 2.0
R
24.000 fps
2 hr 16 min
P/S 1 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 8 / 10

humanity in the performances

Hortense Cumberbatch (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is a black optometrist in London. She has known that she was adopted since she was 7. With the death of her mother, she sets out to find her birth mom. She's shocked to be told that her birth mother is white. Cynthia Purley (Brenda Blethyn) lives with her daughter Roxanne. They are constantly fighting. Paul is Roxanne's boyfriend. Cynthia's brother Maurice Purley (Timothy Spall) is a portrait and wedding photographer. He's married to Monica. Jane is his assistant. It's all "secrets & lies" at Roxanne's 21st birthday party.

Mike Leigh creates another compelling story of the downtrodden. He is an expert in bringing these characters to life. In this one, he is gifted with two great performers, Brenda Blethyn and Timothy Spall. Blethyn has the more showy role. Spall has a quiet humanity. These characters are unforgettable.

Reviewed by gavin6942 8 / 10

A Morality Tale?

A successful black woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) traces her birth mother to a lower-class white woman (Brenda Blethyn), who denies it; emotions run high as everyone's secrets are exposed.

What I love about this film is that it makes a point about race and class, but not in the same way that an American film probably would. In America, there is a tendency to see race and ignore class, when it could be that the latter is the bigger problem. Here, we have a racial divide, and also a class divide -- but the class divide is the reverse of what we might expect.

Roger Ebert wrote that "moment after moment, scene after scene, Secrets & Lies unfolds with the fascination of eavesdropping". I had not noticed it at the time, but it is quite true. These are intimate moments in the lives of a family, things that we would never see...

Reviewed by classicsoncall 7 / 10

"Gotta laugh, ain't ya, sweetheart? Or else you'd cry."

It's difficult not to be overwhelmed by the emotional upheaval of a character like Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn) throughout the story. There aren't many moments when she's in a rational state of calm, instead she's reacting hysterically to all the dysfunctional family theatrics surrounding her. One has to admit though, learning that she's the white mother of a black daughter can be somewhat unnerving once it's ultimately revealed. The story took a step in the direction of how something like that could be but dropped the ball without clarifying the point. As the viewer we don't know and can only speculate. Whether Cynthia carried on with a black man after (other) daughter Roxanne's (Claire Rushbrook) absent father hit the road, or if she was assaulted and raped, one must come to your own conclusion. The shocking realization in Cynthia's mind is not made aware to the viewer.

It might have helped the story if any of the principal players had an appealing look and personality, but then again, when dealing with real life, this is what one often winds up with. I had a tendency to keep my eye on background characters like Jane (Elizabeth Berrington) and Paul (Lee Ross) when things reached critical mass, and they wound up simply there with virtually no visual response. Personally, I would have been mortified and looking for a quick exit. The scene with Stuart (Ron Cook) seems rather odd now in retrospect since it didn't connect with anything else going on, except perhaps to convey class differences in the midst of a story dealing with a potential racial issue.

When all was said and done, it appeared that the family dynamic resolved itself rather quickly, which for the sake of the film was necessary but hardly seemed realistic. It's difficult to imagine the trauma induced by suddenly becoming a bi-racial family would have been alleviated in such a short time span, but at least it ended with everyone still breathing. I'd be on the fence on recommending this one because it's not comfortable to watch, and if one is in a mood for entertainment, this will take you in a different direction.

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