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Secrets and Lies Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

A family is forced to confront the personal issues they've been avoiding for years in this powerful, realistic drama. Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn) is a working-class British woman whose life has been a long series of painful disappointments. She's single with no romantic prospects and a dead-end job at a box factory. Her daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook) works as a street sweeper and is chronically bitter. Cynthia helped raise her brother, Maurice (Timothy Spall), who is doing well as a photographer, but she rarely sees him and usually blames his wife, Monica (Phyllis Logan). One day, Cynthia receives a phone call from a woman named Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), who claims to be the daughter Cynthia put up for adoption years ago. Cynthia initially reacts with panic, but she agrees to meet Hortense and is surprised to discover that she's a successful and soft-spoken eye doctor -- and that she's black. Cynthia is soon convinced that Hortense is just who she claims to be, and they quickly form a friendship that gives Cynthia a new source of emotional strength. However, when Cynthia decides to introduce the family to her new "friend," it forces them to confront the lies and evasions that have kept them apart all these years. Largely improvised by director Mike Leigh and his cast, Secrets & Lies features standout work by Brenda Blethyn (who earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (who was nominated as Best Supporting Actress), and Timothy Spall. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Simon Channing-Williams Best Picture 1996 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Brenda Blethyn Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1996 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Brenda Blethyn Best Actress 1996 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Brenda Blethyn Best Actress - Runner-up 1996 Winner
Cannes Film Festival Brenda Blethyn Best Actress 1996 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Brenda Blethyn Best Actress 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Brenda Blethyn Best Actress 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Marianne Jean-Baptiste Best Supporting Actress 1996 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Mike Leigh Best Director 1996 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Mike Leigh Best Director (Runner-up) 1996 Winner
Directors Guild of America Mike Leigh Best Director 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mike Leigh Best Original Screenplay 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mike Leigh Best Director 1996 Nominee

Cast

Brenda Blethyn
as Cynthia
Marianne Jean-Baptiste
as Hortense
Phyllis Logan
as Monica
Timothy Spall
as Maurice
Claire Rushbrook
as Roxanne
Ron Cook
as Stuart
Elizabeth Berrington
as Jane
Lee Ross
as Paul
Lesley Manville
as Social Worker
Brian Bovell
as Hortense's Brother
Terence Harvey
as First Bride's Father
Richard Syms
as Vicar
Annie Hayes
as Mother in Family Group
Jean Ainslie
as Grandmother
Daniel Smith
as Teenage Son
Lucy Sheen
as Nurse
Stephen Churchett
as Man in Suit
Peter Waddington
as Man in Suit
Gordon Winter
as Laughing Man
Peter Wight
as Father in Family Group
Alison Steadman
as Dog Owner
Liz Smith
as Cat owner
Sheila Kelley
as Fertile Mother
Linda Beckett
as Pin-up Housewife
Philip Davis
as Man in Suit
Anthony O'Donnell
as Uneasy Man
Ruth Sheen
as Laughing Woman
Sheila Kelley
as Fertile Mother
Terence Harvey
as First Bride's Father
Alison Steadman
as Dog Owner
Peter Waddington
as Man in Suit
Lesley Manville
as Social Worker
Anthony O'Donnell
as Uneasy Man
Gordon Winter
as Laughing Man
Richard Syms
as Vicar
Linda Beckett
as Pin-up Housewife
Elizabeth Berrington
as Jane
Philip Davis
as Man in Suit
Lucy Sheen
as Nurse
Jean Ainslie
as Grandmother
Daniel Smith
as Teenage Son
Liz Smith
as Cat owner
Peter Wight
as Father in Family Group
Stephen Churchett
as Man in Suit
Annie Hayes
as Mother in Family Group
Lee Ross
as Paul
Brian Bovell
as Hortense's Brother

Crew

Mike Leigh
Director
Simon Channing-Williams
Producer
Mike Leigh
Screenwriter
Dick Pope
Cinematographer
Alison Chitty
Production Designer
Eve Stewart
Art Director
Maria Price
Costume Designer
Mick Boggis
Sound/Sound Designer
Jennie Osborn
First Assistant Director
Christine Blundell
Makeup
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