Thursday, February 23, 2006

Secrets & Lies

1996
CIBY 2000
Director: Mike Leigh
Length: 142 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 21 February

Secrets & Lies is an incredibly powerful film with a perfectly chosen cast. There are no weak links here, and the 142-minute run-time flies by due to the ease in which we can invest ourselves in the events portrayed. This is allowed mainly by the fact that most of us will be able to relate in some way to the universal theme of keeping and telling, well, secrets and lies and the destruction they wreak on our relationships with loved ones (the film allowed me to gain some insight on my extended families' varying levels of dysfunction). Some critics have felt that certain loose ends and somewhat simplistic character motives detract from the film, but in fact these are major strengths; both make the film more realistic and thus more relatable. Highly recommended.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Belisha said...

You didn't refer to Mike Leigh's film making method. What are your thoughts on that?

23 February, 2006 07:05  
Blogger Kyle Smith said...

I think the method of creating a script based on months of workshops and rehearsals with his already chosen actors is really interesting and has plenty of merit; a viewing of this film will confirm its potential effectiveness. But for as much as Leigh is given credit for this style, I found, in Jonathan Rosenbaum's review of Secrets & Lies, that it "grows directly out of theatrical techniques established by Konstantin Stanislavsky near the beginning of [the 20th] century," so that "to label Leigh as a trailblazer overlooks the fact that he uses standard techniques to arrive at some fairly well-established 'discoveries'" (http://www.chicagoreader.com/movies/archives/1096/10256.html).

23 February, 2006 12:25  

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