Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Marisa Paredes
Rossy De Palma.
Directors
Pedro Almodovar.
Screenwriters
Pedro Almodovar.
Running Time
110 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Queen And Country
4 Star Empire Rating
Black Souls
4 Star Empire Rating
Station To Station
4 Star Empire Rating
She’s Funny That Way
2 Star Empire Rating
Accidental Love
1 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Look Of Silence
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating

The Flower of my Secret
The Spanish master's first hint of greatness.


submit to reddit


Plot
Leo Macias writes sentimental novels with great success but hidden under a pseudonym, Amanda Gris. She is unhappy with her professional life and with her husband, a soldier working in Brussels and Bosnia that is never at home. She will try anything to change her life.


Review
After the wholesale disappointment of the critically mauled Kika, Pedro Almodóvar desperately needed to regain lost-ground as one of Europe’s premier filmmakers. Here he takes the brave step of abandoning his high voltage sex and comedy trademarks, opting instead for a detailed and dramatic account of a successful authoress coming to terms with desertion and solitude at the onset of middle age.
As a writer of best-selling romantic fiction under an assumed name, Leo (Parades) clings desperately to a dissolving marriage to an absent NATO official, finds herself the victim of the ultimate betrayal by her closest friend, and yet is granted no consideration or compassion from her squabbling mother (Lumpreave) and sister (De Palma). Alone but for her new best friend, the bottle, she can do nothing but dispense with the falsehoods and pretences that have come to govern her life, and return to her family’s village, in the hope of rediscovering her true self.
Stripped bare of the staples we have come to expect from the Almodóvar camp — save for a perfectly realised comic double act from Lumpreave and De Palma — the film more than compensates by the power of Paredes’ performance. Toning down the multi-colour sets and garish mix’n’match costumes, Almodóvar lets rip with a story of great emotional intensity, while retaining his signature stunning visual style and a central performance quite unlike anything previously seen in his work. A potent and strikingly well-delivered combination, proving that Madrid’s finest is truly back on track.


Verdict
The honing of a great talent, producing a template for numerous future classics.


Reviewed by Jane Stefanski

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Classic Feature: The Change-Up
High-concept interview where Jason becomes Ryan and vice versa. Hilarity ensues

A Guide To Rick Baker: Monster Maker
Bidding farewell to a visual effects legend

Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)