Secrets & Lies (1996)

With both her adoptive parents now dead, a Black optometrist decides to make contact with her white working-class birth mother.

Rohit

The highest level of emotional maturity one can achieve as a human being and, hence, as a film director. 10/10

9 years ago

jacktrewin

timothy spall is absolutely astonishing

10 years ago

Siskoid

Secrets & Lies is a riveting drama that doesn't feel half as long as it really is, filled with great actors (most of whom are probably more recognizable now than they were then), featuring a heady mix of humor and tearjerking… and all the more impressive when you consider that director Mike Leigh works without a script. I think this kind of process is entirely fascinating. Actors are told only what their characters would know, and left to craft those characters as they see fit. Then they're thrown together in scenes to improvise. In a film about family secrets, this allows for raw reactions to embedded revelations. It's a high-wire act, and it seems almost impossible that Leigh and his cast manage to walk it so ably. In addition to the main thread of an adopted woman seeking out her birth mother and in the process finding out she's actually of mixed race, we also have the mother's brother reconnecting with her after some family strife, his growing estrangement to his wife, and hers to her other daughter. It's all about reconnecting, and having to break down walls to do so, and it all feels very real and unvarnished. Great stuff.

3 years ago

More info & statistics

10.8% of the viewers favorited this title, 0.5% disliked it

Currently in 14 official lists, but has been in 17

Activity

DLosier checked this title

3 hours ago

fealym2 added this title to their watchlist

4 hours ago

zherff added this title to their watchlist

15 hours ago

Lakigigar added this title to their watchlist

16 hours ago

butch11798 checked this title

6 days ago

Bulli checked this title

a week ago

Friends

Log in to see which of your friends have seen this movie

Time Out's The 100...

102 movies · At #35

BFI's Top 100...

100 movies · At #40

Arts & Faith's Top...

100 movies · At #42

Cannes Film Festival...

93 movies · At #68

Empire's The 500...

500 movies · At #287

Roger Ebert's Great Movies

410 movies · At #341

Academy Award - Best...

574 movies · At #407

Sight & Sound's The...

807 movies · At #523

TSPDT's 1,000...

1005 movies · At #571

Halliwell's Top...

1043 movies · At #655

The New York Times's...

1001 movies · At #755

Time Out's 1000...

1033 movies · At #811

1001 Movies You Must...

1009 movies · At #902

The Criterion Collection

1338 movies · At #1285