A Mike Leigh trilogy. In the Oscar-nominated 'Secrets and Lies' Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is a young black Londoner who, after the death of her adoptive parents, is surprised to discover that her birth mother is in fact white single-mum Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn). After an uncomfortable first meeting, Cynthia and Hortense manage to strike up a rapport, and Cynthia invites her to the 21st birthday party of her daughter Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook). 'Life is Sweet' is set in a lower-middle class household in a London suburb. Parents Wendy (Alison Steadman) and Andy (Jim Broadbent) and their twin daughters Natalie (Claire Skinner) and Nicola (Jane Horrocks) are a modern family at odds with itself. Whilst Natalie quietly focuses on progressing into the plumbing industry, bulimic Nicola grows increasingly sullen and misanthropic. Whilst 'Career Girls' explores the changing face of friendship as times goes by. Hannah (Katrin Cartlidge) and Annie (Lynda Steadman) shared a flat together at college, but have not seen each other for six years. They meet up for the weekend, reminiscing about their student days and the characters they used to know. These include their flatmate Claire, Adrian Spinks (with whom they both had flings), and Ricky, Annie's unstable would-be suitor.