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Secrets & Lies
Directed by Mike Leigh • 1996 • United Kingdom
Starring Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Timothy Spall
Mike Leigh’s Palme d’Or–winning masterpiece charts the shockwaves that ripple through an already-fractured London family when Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), a successful, adopted black optometrist, makes contact with Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn, winner of the best actress prize at Cannes), her desperately dysfunctional white birth mother, who is woefully unprepared to deal with the situation. With unexpected humor and gripping emotional realism, Leigh crafts an intricate, richly human exploration of the buried tensions and heartaches that run beneath the surface of family life.