Digital, Cable and Satellite Television: Pick of the Day

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The Independent Culture
FILMFOUR'S Mike Leigh week continues with a double-bill. It starts with High Hopes (8pm FilmFour), a portrait of 1980s London. With a sharp eye on social mores, the director homes in on a disparate bunch of characters: an unreconstructed leftie dispatch rider (Philip Davis), his ruthless brother-in-law (Philip Jackson), his sad widowed mother (Edna Dore), and yuppie neighbours (Lesley Manville and David Bamber).

This is followed by Secrets and Lies (10pm), Leigh's multi-Oscar-nominated picture of the difficulties encountered by a raddled white loser (Brenda Blethyn, right) when she meets the successful black daughter (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) she gave up for adoption at birth. These wonderful portraits of a fractured society are a tribute to Leigh's unique working-method of endless cast improvisations.

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