Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
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
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
Nut Job, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
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.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Our official verdict on Marvel's latest addition to their cinematic universe

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

Role By Role With Joel McHale
The star of The Soup and Community on Spider-Man 2 and much more

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)