Secrets & Lies

1996

Action / Drama

130
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 8 10 31033

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Hortense Cumberbatch
Lesley Manville as Social Worker
Timothy Spall as Maurice Purley
Phyllis Logan as Monica Purley
720p 1080p
934.28 MB
1280*720
English
R
24.000 fps
2hr 16 min
P/S 4 / 19
2.06 GB
1920*1080
English
R
24.000 fps
2hr 16 min
P/S 6 / 19

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Josh Miller ([email protected]) 7 / 10

Magic

In honor of my film class wrapping up this week, I will be counting down my top five favorite films we have watched for class. I begin with my #5 choice, Secrets and Lies, a Mike Leigh drama/comedy about the secrets and lies (shock) that tear apart a dysfunctional British family. Brenda Blethyn plays Cynthia Purley, the very dramatic and always crying single mother who is one day contacted by the daughter she gave up for adoption…who happens to be black. The look on Blethyn's face is priceless as she flashes back to a one night stand she had as a young lady.

Most would think Leigh's story would revolve around race relations, which is not the case at all (race is never an issue). Instead he revolves his story around the Purley family, a unit so torn apart from over the years that a simple family cook out turns into a soap opera. "Secrets and lies! We're all in pain! Why can't we share our pain? I've spent my entire life trying to make people happy, and the three people I love the most in the world hate each other's guts, and I'm in the middle! I can't take it anymore!" This memorable quote comes from Maurice Purley, brother to Cynthia and talented photographer. Maurice is your classic good guy, the passive patriarch who always tries to hold the family together. (The irony around his character is that he cannot conceive a child with his wife, Monica). You almost feel sorry for the successful Hortense, as if she would be better off not knowing her birth mother at all.

The actors are so talented in this film that Leigh, at times, uses no cuts during a scene. The camera stays in one spot as the actors' play out scenes that can last 10-15 minutes. After you get past the difficult British dialect (you may want to use captions while watching), you will feel as if you are that nosey neighbor who can't help but listen and enjoy the problems this family confronts…and that's no lie.

Reviewed by Gideonssword79 10 / 10

One Excellent Film...But Is There Another Secret?

Here is a question which has dogged me each time I watch this film - and I have seen it over 40 times: Two times during the film, Cynthia Purley (Brenda Blethyn) discusses the circumstances under which her daughter, Hortense Cumberbatch (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) was born - but when Hortense asks who her father is, Cynthia cannot say.

In the restaurant, when Cynthia realizes that she, a white woman, is indeed the mother of this black daughter, she has a moment where she hints at the true circumstances of Hortense's birth. We realize that Hortense's father is black...but is there another secret? After all, at the birthday party for Cynthia's other daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook), Cynthia tells Roxanne that her father's name was Bingham - that he was an American medical student that she met on holiday while she was at Benidorm. So, she can tell people who Roxanne's true father was. But when Hortense asks if her father "was a nice man," Cynthia can't say - or won't.

The question to be asked here, which no one breaches, is: Was Hortense the product of rape? Was the 15 year old Cynthia Purley raped by a black man in 1968 in London? And did she then keep the child, only to give it up for adoption? Why doesn't anyone ask this? Why does Cynthia let Roxanne know who her father is, but not Hortense? Now, was this done on purpose by the director and/or the screenwriter? After all, it would be simple enough to see the name of the child, "Elizabeth Rose Purley," on the birth certificate that Hortense gets a copy of. If it is blank, this would prove that Cynthia did not know who the father was - pointing the way to rape.

But the question is not asked, and the answer not given.

Can we speculate? Can we broach the subject that a black man raped a white girl and yet she did not abort the child and instead gave it life and then gave it away? This is an absolutely fantastic film. From Brenda Blethyn to Marianne Jean-Baptiste (now on CSI:New York without her British accent) to Timothy Spall, this film is filled with Oscar worthy performances. Why this was passed over for the (dull and boring) "The English Patient" is beyond me.

I would recommend this film without doubt. It is one of the finest pieces of film-making and acting I have ever seen.

Reviewed by Josh Miller ([email protected]) 7 / 10

Top 5 Film Class Movies: FILM #5

In honor of my film class wrapping up this week, I will be counting down my top five favorite films we have watched for class. I begin with my #5 choice, Secrets and Lies, a Mike Leigh drama/comedy about the secrets and lies (shock) that tear apart a dysfunctional British family. Brenda Blethyn plays Cynthia Purley, the very dramatic and always crying single mother who is one day contacted by the daughter she gave up for adoption…who happens to be black. The look on Blethyn's face is priceless as she flashes back to a one night stand she had as a young lady.

Most would think Leigh's story would revolve around race relations, which is not the case at all (race is never an issue). Instead he revolves his story around the Purley family, a unit so torn apart from over the years that a simple family cook out turns into a soap opera. "Secrets and lies! We're all in pain! Why can't we share our pain? I've spent my entire life trying to make people happy, and the three people I love the most in the world hate each other's guts, and I'm in the middle! I can't take it anymore!" This memorable quote comes from Maurice Purley, brother to Cynthia and talented photographer. Maurice is your classic good guy, the passive patriarch who always tries to hold the family together. (The irony around his character is that he cannot conceive a child with his wife, Monica). You almost feel sorry for the successful Hortense, as if she would be better off not knowing her birth mother at all.

The actors are so talented in this film that Leigh, at times, uses no cuts during a scene. The camera stays in one spot as the actors' play out scenes that can last 10-15 minutes. After you get past the difficult British dialect (you may want to use captions while watching), you will feel as if you are that nosey neighbor who can't help but listen and enjoy the problems this family confronts…and that's no lie.

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