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Secrets & Lies

I really haven’t watched many of Mike Leigh’s films… I always get them confused with whatsisname… Ken Loach? Hm.

Anyway, Leigh is the kind of director I’m always thinking I should watch more of (because I quite like British “Channel Four realism”). But the one film by Leigh I can remember watching (Naked) really rubbed me the wrong way.

So here we go again.

One of the main characters is a photographer, so lots of opportunity for these montages.

There’s like… a lot of people with this expression.

I don’t think the use of music is ideal. Some of it works well, but Leigh errs on the side of slathering music to underscore feelings, and it sometimes feels very pat indeed. Like this guy getting a “funny trombone” ditty.

Well, it might have been French horn.

But I guess the music is appropriate for a melodrama like this.

Everything is melodramatic to the max! Every conversation is life or death.

But it’s pretty amusing, and Brenda Blethyn is devastating.

I like some of these odd choices — like doing this shot for several minutes.

It’s an enjoyable movie. It’s by no means a naturalistic movie — it’s more of a well-oiled machinery than even a Douglas Sirk movie. But even so, there’s some interactions that don’t really work for me; where it’s a bit “c’mon. dude. c’mon”. It might even be the editing that’s sometimes a bit stilted?

I ain’t harf running out to buy his other movies, I don’t think.

Secrets & Lies. Mike Leigh. 1996.

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