Winner of three awards at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival (including Best Actress for Brenda Blethyn, whose performance also garnered an Oscar nomination), SECRETS & LIES is widely acknowledged as Mike Leigh's finest film, and one of the undisputed triumphs of modern British social realism. Cynthia's 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 works as a street sweeper and is chronically bitter. Cynthia helped raise her brother, Maurice, a successful photographer, but she rarely sees him and usually blames his wife, Monica. One day, Cynthia receives a phone call from a woman named Hortense, 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 optometrist - and that she's black. The two women quickly form a friendship that gives Cynthia a new source of emotional strength, but 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.
Secrets & Lies
A film by Mike Leigh