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Lace

Year: 1984
Production Co: Lorimar Productions
Director: William Hale
Writer: Shirley Conran
Cast: Bess Armstrong, Brooke Adams, Arielle Dombasle, Phoebe Cates, Angela Lansbury, Horo Blackman
What a teenage boy could possibly see in a miniseries adaptation of Shirley Conran's bitch-flick epic is still beyond me, but for some reason I loved this trashy, very 1980s drama torn straight from pages of a million Harold Robbins clones.

Lily (Phoebe Cates - now I remember why I loved it) is given up after birth, finding her way into prostitution and porn - though in a very classy way, directed more in the Anthony Minghella style rather than that of Paul Verhoeven. She eventually becomes a world famous model albeit with a shady past, and decides to find out who her true mother is.

She does her research into the candidates, three successful women who were best friends at a French boarding school and who agreed to keep the secret when one of them falls pregnant with an illegitimate child.

Lily brings the now-estranged women together to find out the truth, delivering her ultimatum in the close of the first instalment with the immortal line 'Incidentally... which one of you bitches is my mother?'

The hook of the film is that we - along with Lily - have no clue which of the three the mother is until the last frame, so strong was their bond to stick together in what one of them went through. We see a lot of the story through flashbacks - how each woman's sexual awakening could have made her the mother, their friendship and adventures at school - including a priceless sequence when they blackmail their headmaster.

It's like the understated eroticism of Lily herself - the high class of sex; all lace curtains, doe eyes and very French.

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