Following her adoptive mother’s death, Hortense, a successful, black London optometrist, traces her biological mother to lower-class white single mother Cynthia, who denies it. Cynthia and her daughter Roxanne have a love-hate relationship. Emotions run high as everyone’s secrets are exposed.
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It's rare for a film maker to care about all of the characters equally. He goes to great lengths to show the child that wants to be loved in each of them, even in the ones that show up on camera for only about 15 seconds. What a masterpiece of empathy and storytelling.
Such a beautiful film! It's a story about the most dysfunctional family you could ever imagine, each of them going about their days bottling up all the sadness and anger, keeping the truth from each other. The 'secrets & lies' that have torn them apart for so long are what bring them together in the end. Superbly acted, Blethyn and Spall deliver especially raw performances. You just can't help getting sucked in.
I absolutely loved with this film! The performances were painfully honest, the script was so smart, and Leigh's use of camera, particularly the long static take, was just breathtaking! Here is a great movie!
This is one of Mike Leigh's most powerful films. This is an intimate portrait of a family hanging on by a thread and trying hard to stay together. Leigh had a natural ability to show the intimacies of emotions and people that are more than complex.