17/11/2008

Secrets and Lies


I watched an interesting, insightful film Saturday evening. Secrets and Lies is by director Mike Leigh and is about a family is forced to confront the personal issues they've all been avoiding for years. Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn)a single mother in middle age, works in a box factory and life's disappointments have made her miserable. Her bitter daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook) sweeps streets for the local council.
Cynthia helped raise her brother, Maurice (Timothy Spall), who is a sucessful photographer, but they seldom see each other. Maurice and his wife have problems of their own. One day, Cynthia receives a phone call from a woman named Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), who claims to be the daughter Cynthia put up for adoption years ago. Cynthia initially reacts with panic, but she agrees to meet Hortense, a successful and soft-spoken eye doctor. She is also black.
Against all odds the two form a real bond which give Cynthia some meaning in her life.
On Roxanne's birthday, Maurice has a barbecue and things unravel. It forces all of them to confront the lies and secrets that have kept them apart all these years.

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