Mike Leigh

Secrets & Lies

Leigh’s multi-award winner follows an adopted woman’s search for her biological mother.

Image from Secrets & Lies

UK 1996
Dir Mike Leigh
With Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Manville, Claire Rushbrook, Timothy Spall
Digital restoration
Certificate 15

At the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, Leigh won the Palme d’Or and Brenda Blethyn the Best Actress award for what is one of Leigh’s funniest yet most moving films. An adopted Black girl goes in search of her birth mother, with unexpected consequences for both – drawing in an estranged brother, his distressed wife, and a sulky female street-cleaner. The film includes a lovely sequence in the photographer’s studio, a climactic barbecue and a gallery of classic performances led by Blethyn’s slightly deranged Cynthia.

The screening on Saturday 6 November will feature a Q&A with Mike Leigh.