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What do you do when your wife Iona Aylesbury (Kristin Scott Thomas) can’t tell the difference between a shrink and a shop, your eight-year-old son Orlando spray paints his rabbit’s name on the walls to get attention, while his gay godfather Stephen (Ralph Fiennes) lies half beaten to death in hospital. Your boss is drawing you into a scam which could cost you your career, your father Edward Aylesbury has an illegitimate love child with his former mistress Gloria (Penelope Cruz), her social worker Colin (Rhys Ifans) can’t help prying into her past and present, and your stepmother Penelope's (Harriet Walter) bond with her dogs is your best role model of a loving relationship. Every family has secrets it hides behind the walls of its home - these are the dilemmas and secrets of Marcus Aylesbury (Damian Lewis).

When Marcus’s old ‘friend’ Trent (Ben Chaplin), an intelligent investigative journalist, gets wind of a story he knows will make him a media star the good old virtues of honesty, loyalty and friendship are sacrificed to the new morality of success and celebrity. Pushed by his powerhouse editor, Trent is forced to bend his ideals of using journalism to make a difference - and instead focuses on writing ‘sexy stories that sell’. This darkly comedic drama relentlessly pulls these characters into situations which threaten their stable place in a society where privilege and birth are no longer powerful enough to protect the fortunate few, and where the American values of money, beauty and success have become the cornerstones of contemporary London life.


Type of film
Running Time
138 mins
Martha Fiennes
Robert Bevan, Steve Christian, Charlie Savill, Peter Samuelson, Marc Samuelson
Tracy Granger
Director of Photography
George Tiffin
Magnus Fiennes
Principal Cast
Ben Chaplin, Penelope Cruz, Ralph Fiennes, Ian Holm, Rhys Ifans, Damian Lewis, Kristin Scott Thomas

Production status


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Last updated 30th March 2006

Production Company

Rotholz Pictures


Quinta Communications