Slowly I am becoming a big fan of Mike Leigh and his kind of film making. I like his style. I have a read a few interviews of his and the way we deals with his actors and executes his scenes and narration is a kind of new school of thought for me. Secrets and Lies was one of the highly recommended movies of Mike Leigh, and it became pertinent for me to watch it. It is story of Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) – a successful optometrist - who after her adopted mother dies, traces her birth- mother Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn) a working class lady living with her frustrated daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook) a street cleaner. Slowly Hortense and Cynthia open up and build a LOVE-bond of mother- daughter which brings a new lease of life to Cynthia's mundane and problematic existence. When Cynthia invites Hortense to Roxanne's birthday party held at Cynthia's brother Maurice's (Timothy Spall) residence – the secrets are revealed of who is Hortense? Who was the father of Roxanne? Who was the father of Hortense? Why Maurice is still not having children? The last half an hour is a roller coaster ride of tension and tear- jerking emotions. But all ends up well in the end. Secrets penetrate and each character empathizes with the other to live happily thereafter. That is the strength of a good optimist positive director Mike Leigh that reflects a belief in good human nature and their goodness. The acting of Brenda Blethyn as Cynthia is immaculate. She lives the traumatized hysterical yet endearing character to the hilt. Kudos to her! The other performance that stands out is of Timothy Spall as Maurice, whose character plays a nice binding force in the family. There is an unnecessary sub-plot of Maurice at his photo-studio – which could have had been over-looked. What I like about director Mike Leigh is that he lets his characters flow naturally and takes their own life. Shows a lot of his theatre style where actresses are given freedom to improvise on the spot. Secrets and Lies is for those who enjoy family movies that highlight good human relationships. I would rate the movie 7.5 out of 10.
Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.
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April 12, 2019