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Secrets and Lies

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Original title
Secrets and Lies
Running time
141 min.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Mike Leigh
Andrew Dickson
Dick Pope
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Thin Man Films / Film4 Productions / Ciby 2000
Drama | Adoption
Synopsis / Plot
This powerful drama film follows London doctor Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), an intelligent middle-class black woman who was adopted and now decides to track down her biological mother. But her daunting discovery is that her natural mother Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn) is white and working class. Cynthia is doubtful of Hortense’s claim until she presents her birth certificate, then Cynthia's painful memories begin to reappear. Cynthia meanwhile is determined to keep her antagonistic daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook) from making the same mistakes she did. What will happen when Hortense traces her real mum? What family secret is Cynthia's brother; wedding photographer Maurice (Timothy Spall) keeping? And the barbecue looms large - as Leigh's parties always do. Cynthia invites Hortense to her daughter's birthday barbecue, choosing that occasion to disclose to her family the true identity of this newcomer.
1996: 5 Nominations for Oscar: Movie, Actress, Supporting Actress, Director, Original Screenplay
1996: Golden Globe: Best Actress Drama (Brenda Blethyn). 3 Nominations
1996: 3 BAFTA Awards: Best British Film, Screenplay, Actress (Blethyn). 7 Nominations
1996: Goya Awards: Best European Movie
1996: Cannes Film Festival: Best Film (Golden Palm), Actress (Blethyn), Ecumenical Jury
1996: Cesar Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Picture
1996: European Film Awards: Nominated for Best Film
1996: Satellite Awards: Nominated for Best Drama Film, Director & Actress (Blethyn)
1996: Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Movie, director, actress
1996: Independent Spirit Awards: Best Foreign Film
1996: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director
1996: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Original Screenplay
1996: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress (Brenda Blethyn)
1996: 3 Nominations Chicago Film Critics Association, including Best Picture & Director
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