Lügen und Geheimnisse (1996)

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Lügen und Geheimnisse: Directed by Mike Leigh. With Timothy Spall, Phyllis Logan, Brenda Blethyn, Claire Rushbrook. Following the death of her adoptive parents, a successful young black optometrist establishes contact with her biological mother — a lonely white factory worker living in poverty in East London.

“Mike Leighu0026#39;s superb comedy-drama of family relationships. Heart-rending, bitter and delightful by turn u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLeighu0026#39;s modern classic captured a brace of Oscar nominations but went home empty handed in the face of The English Patientu0026#39;s near clean sweep. Even Blethynu0026#39;s Cannes-winning performance lost out to Frances McDormandu0026#39;s Fargo turn (hard to challenge this decision, although in any other year the brilliant Blethyn would have deserved to win). The film eventually racked up a considerable number of awards, its Oscar success aside.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe story, every bit as believable and real as the rest of Leighu0026#39;s work, centres on a woman, Cynthia Purley (Blethyn ), whose mid-life crisis is further exacerbated by the appearance on the scene of the daughter she gave away at birth, the wonderfully named Hortense Cumberbatch (Baptiste) – a young, beautiful, professional black woman who causes a few eyebrows to be raised in the family, and forces Cynthia to come to terms with her past.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003enAlternating between high comedy, scathing one-liners (Blethyn telling daughter Rushbrook she has a face like a u0026quot;slapped arseu0026quot; is a moment to treasure) and tear-jerking poignancy, with Spall, Rushbrook and Baptiste all offering strong support, this is nothing short of superb.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eVerdict A genuine hit for Mike Leigh, Secrets And Lies has the coarse grain of real life, sympathetically and affirmingly fashioned.”


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