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Secrets And Lies [VHS] [1996]

4.6 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews



Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan, Claire Rushbrook, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
  • Directors: Mike Leigh
  • Writers: Mike Leigh
  • Producers: Simon Channing Williams
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Film Four
  • VHS Release Date: 24 Jan. 2000
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00004CUSV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 475,927 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Comedy drama written and directed by Mike Leigh. Hortense Cumberbatch (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is a young, black Londoner who, after the death of her adoptive parents, is surprised to discover that her birth mother is in fact white, single mum Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn). After an uncomfortable first meeting, Cynthia strikes up a rapport with Hortense and invites her to the 21st birthday party of her youngest daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook) where she meets Cynthia's brother Maurice (Timothy Spall) and his wife Monica (Phyllis Logan). Mike Leigh's bittersweet comedy was nominated for five Oscars.

From Amazon.co.uk

If a film fan had never heard of director Mike Leigh, one might explain him as a British Woody Allen. Not that Leigh's films are whimsical or neurotic; they are tough-love examinations of British life--funny, outlandish and biting. His films share a real immediacy with Allen's work: they feel as if they are happening now. Leigh works with actors--real actors--on ideas and language. There is no script at the start (and sometimes not at the end). Secrets and Lies involves Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), an elegant black woman wanting to learn her birth mother's identity. She will find it's Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn), who is one of the saddest creatures we've seen in film. She's also one of the most real and, ultimately, one of the most loveable. Timothy Spall is Cynthia's brother, a giant man full of love who is being slowly defeated by his fastidious wife (Phyllis Logan).

There is a great exuberance of life in Secrets & Lies, winner of the Palme D'Or and best actress (Blethyn) at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival--not Zorba-type life but the little battles fought and won every day. Leigh's honest interpretation of daily life is usually found only on the stage. Secrets & Lies is more realistic than a stage production, however, especially when Leigh shows us uninterrupted scenes. Critic David Denby states that Leigh has "made an Ingmar Bergman film without an instant of heaviness or pretension." If that sounds like your cup of tea, see Secrets & Lies. --Doug Thomas

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