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Heads up for Secrets and Lies (1996)


slaytonf
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TCM presents another in it's series of Mike Leigh movies (the second) Tuesday with his excellent Secrets and Lies (1996).  This was, I believe, the one that brought him to the attention of the general public--or at least mine.  It's a wonderful story of people deciding to accept a good thing when it comes along, in spite of everything in their past, and their contemporary social condition that argues against it.  Not to say there isn't a considerable amount of discomfort, awkwardness, and misjudgment involved.  But if everything were easy, why bother making a movie?  It's not a spoiler to tell people not to worry.

A great big Thank You! to TCM.  Let's hope for more!

Secrets and Lies, Tuesday, November 20, 11:30 pm, Pacific.

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5 hours ago, slaytonf said:

TCM presents another in it's series of Mike Leigh movies (the second) Tuesday with his excellent Secrets and Lies (1996).  This was, I believe, the one that brought him to the attention of the general public--or at least mine.  It's a wonderful story of people deciding to accept a good thing when it comes along, in spite of everything in their past, and their contemporary social condition that argues against it.  Not to say there isn't a considerable amount of discomfort, awkwardness, and misjudgment involved.  But if everything were easy, why bother making a movie?  It's not a spoiler to tell people not to worry.

A great big Thank You! to TCM.  Let's hope for more!

Secrets and Lies, Tuesday, November 20, 11:30 pm, Pacific.

I couldn't agree more and I'm glad you mentioned contemporary social condition because this film can teach us more now than ever in these polarized times. What happens in this movie is nothing short of miraculous in the way that people all caught in downward spirals of one kind or another can find common ground and even real affection for each other. Clashing points of view seem likely to doom these people to epic failure, but their hard-won final acceptance of each other brings them not only to triumph but also to the simple joy of community. As stated above, it's a difficult but ultimately beautiful film which should be of interest to anyone (like myself) who has recently felt themselves disconnected from any or all of their fellows. We all need to get over ourselves and this movie is practically a roadmap of how to do it.

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32 minutes ago, DougieB said:

I couldn't agree more and I'm glad you mentioned contemporary social condition because this film can teach us more now than ever in these polarized times. What happens in this movie is nothing short of miraculous in the way that people all caught in downward spirals of one kind or another can find common ground and even real affection for each other. Clashing points of view seem likely to doom these people to epic failure, but their hard-won final acceptance of each other brings them not only to triumph but also to the simple joy of community. As stated above, it's a difficult but ultimately beautiful film which should be of interest to anyone (like myself) who has recently felt themselves disconnected from any or all of their fellows. We all need to get over ourselves and this movie is practically a roadmap of how to do it.

Excellent comment Dougie. You should post that on the IMDb for this film.

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Hey, everybody please take note of Men Don't Leave (1990), which I assume is a TCM premiere, tomorrow night as well! One of only two feature films ever directed by Paul Brickman, the other being the immortal Risky Business. I think he's very sporadically done some television work in the last 25 years, but I feel like he must have largely gone into some other business besides directing. This one is more muted than his prior slapstick, if cynical, sex comedy. There's an age-inappropriate relationship between Joan Cusack and Chris O'Donnell that's mostly played for laughs. Probably wouldn't ever be allowed in any mainstream Hollywood film today. Also, a nice performance from Charlie Korsmo, a child actor with haunting, wide eyes, sort of the Haley Joel Osment of his day. He went on to be in Dick TracyThe Doctor and Hook before having his only major grown-up role in Can't Hardly Wait, before apparently mostly retiring from the business. 

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On 11/19/2018 at 10:15 PM, sewhite2000 said:

Hey, everybody please take note of Men Don't Leave (1990), which I assume is a TCM premiere, tomorrow night as well! One of only two feature films ever directed by Paul Brickman, the other being the immortal Risky Business. I think he's very sporadically done some television work in the last 25 years, but I feel like he must have largely gone into some other business besides directing. This one is more muted than his prior slapstick, if cynical, sex comedy. There's an age-inappropriate relationship between Joan Cusack and Chris O'Donnell that's mostly played for laughs. Probably wouldn't ever be allowed in any mainstream Hollywood film today. Also, a nice performance from Charlie Korsmo, a child actor with haunting, wide eyes, sort of the Haley Joel Osment of his day. He went on to be in Dick TracyThe Doctor and Hook before having his only major grown-up role in Can't Hardly Wait, before apparently mostly retiring from the business. 

Yes, that's a good film too. Saw it before and caught the ending passages of it tonight. The film was a true acting showcase for just about everyone in it, and they all shone (especially Jessica Lange, Cusack, Korsmo, and Kathy Bates in a pre-Misery part as a demanding boss). The film itself is very tender and moving, and features another of Thomas Newman's beautifully bittersweet orchestral scores. 

Regarding the Cusack/O'Donnell romance....hard to say. Usually I'd say it would not be allowed today (and even when it was made, the film gave Lange 's character a brutal putdown about it to cut Cusack down to size), and then I remember last year's gay romance Call Me by Your Name involved a 17-year-old and somebody older as well.

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