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The Flower of My Secret (1996)

Marisa Paredes , Juan Echanove , Daniel Cebrián , Pedro Almodóvar  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marisa Paredes, Juan Echanove, Carme Elias, Rossy de Palma, Chus Lampreave
  • Directors: Daniel Cebrián, Pedro Almodóvar
  • Writers: Pedro Almodóvar, Dorothy Parker
  • Producers: Agustín Almodóvar, Esther García, Lola García, Paz Sufrategui
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007OCG60
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,368 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Flower of My Secret" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Leo writes romance novels - but with a loveless marriage, she finds herself fresh out of inspiration. Angel is a tough and gruff with an iron will and a heart of gold. When their paths cross, they discover something neither had expected - a real-life love affair! It's no secret that the critics are smitten with Almodovar's hip, romantic comedy, calling it "the flower of Almodovar's genius! Themost intelligent, subdued and uncannily powerful film of his career." - Matt Zoller Seitz, New YorkPress

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Some viewers have placed this exciting film 'La Flor de mi secreto' into the 'not up to standard' Pedro Almodóvar films, a classification this viewer finds difficult to understand. Filmed in the luxuriously colorful palette (especially the repeated use of the color red in every scene) that has become his trademark, set with a musical score that includes Spanish song and guitar and flamenco, and introducing a wildly disparate group of over-the-top women played by a bevy of fine actresses - it all seems echt Almodóvar to me. No, there is not the outrageous side of gender bending that suffuses many of his more popular films, but there is a fine story that resonates throughout this remarkable movie that makes it very much worth the attention of lovers of Spanish cinema.

The film opens during the credits on a woman being informed that her 16-year old son is brain dead as a result of a motorcycle accident and two young doctors (including the irrepressible young Jordi Molla) are trying to convince her to allow the respirator to be disconnected and the boy's organs harvested for donor transplant. Sad, tense though this opening is we discover soon enough that the trio are actors making a demo film for medical personnel to learn to deal with such possible family encounters! Point: what appears to be a tragedy becomes a 'farcical depiction' guided by a seminar leader Betty (Carmen Elías). Flash into a different scene and we me Leo (the immensely talented Almodóvar favorite Marisa Paredes), depressed to the extreme over the failure of her marriage to her beloved Paco (Imanol Arias), a NATO 'soldier' who took assignments as far from Leo as possible.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've Got A Secret July 25, 2006
THE FLOWER OF MY SECRET is one of those titles that can strike you at first as being evocative, and then, upon further reflection you might say, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Well, maybe it loses something in the translation, and maybe it's a cultural or literary reference that is just lost on me. But I suspect I'm not alone. Looking over the reviews posted below, I'd guess that "What the hell is it supposed to mean?" sentiment may be many viewers' response to the entire movie.

Despite my qualms about the title, I wound up liking it myself. But the friend at whose home I watched the film, pretty much just shrugged. We both like Almodovar, so we were starting out from the same place, you could say. And this film is trademark Almodovar in many ways. In fact--in contrast to many of the reviews posted--we both felt that FLOWER had many many over the top moments as his other films. But they were, how you say?, discreetly over the top.

The film has been described as being an homage to classic women's films of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and its star Marisa Paredes does have a kind of Joan Crawford thing going on. She's got a certain steeliness that one could easily take for a kind of classiness--if she didn't do such ludicrous things as wear too-tight boots (which she winds up asking friends and even total strangers to take off for her)simply because her absent husband gave them to her.

Come to find out, hubby is in NATO and has been alternately been spending time in Brussels and Bosnia (this is at the height of the conflict there). But it comes as no surprise that he is not just a good soldier: he has actively sought out assignments that would remove him from his troubled marriage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a softer, lighter Almodovar July 3, 2005
Not as emotionally intense as Live Flesh; not as stinging and punchy as What Have I Done to Deserve This?; not as all-out wacky as Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down!, this is nevertheless an enjoyable piece of cinema that, more than anything else, wears its heart on its sleeve--proving that, at least somewhere inside him, director Pedro Almodovar is a real softie.

Combining flamenco (not seen in any other of his films), paella, romance novel ghostwriting, a crumbling marriage, a sentimental editor, a lovestarved writer, and a few other choice characters, Almodovar offers this movie treat as he would a sugary confection to his eager audience, just knowing they'll eat it up. And we do.

Leo--a woman writer--secretly writes romance novels to make a big chunk of money, but is more complex than that, savoring a long list of "suicidal woman writers"--Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker, and many others. Married to a career soldier, Paco, who's too busy helping Bosnians to pay attention to Leo, she turns to her friends for help, and to the bottle, and, eventually, to a newspaper editor, Angel (a man) who takes her on after being smitten with her.

That's the story in a nutshell, but the film has the Almodovar stamp all over it. We have the feisty mother (very similar to the one in What Have I Done to Deserve This?--in fact, played by the same actress), the young stud guy, the semi-neurotic female friends/peers of the female protagonist, the misunderstood male lead(s), etc. But that's fine; the director makes the dialogue his own (he should; he wrote it, also!) and we know it's his and are all the better for it.

While not the best Almodovar, this is still very entertaining and substantially better than many other films out there.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just as described
Published 12 days ago by zeene
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring....
I usually love foreign films 95% of the time but this time this movie is a sleeper. I would skip this as there are way better movies. Check out my other movie reviews.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Almodovar all over ..............
Is ok to watch at least once, will amuse you........
Good deal for the price, spanish w/subtitles.
Published 13 months ago by RAD
2.0 out of 5 stars We like Almodovar films, but not this one.
I agree with those who give it 2 stars - even my wife, who loves Almodovar films, lost
interest. Read Roger Ebert's review of the film - he gives it only one and a half stars. Read more
Published on July 22, 2012 by Filmfan
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating!
Senor Pedro successfully did it again in this wonderful film of lost love and its ultimate rebound,
treated with the director's savvy and wit and humor. Read more
Published on January 22, 2011 by R. Monteclar
4.0 out of 5 stars Important step in Almodovar's evolution as a film-maker
Sweet, and very well acted. This is much less wild and outrageous than earlier Almodovar, but compensates by having more real emotion. Read more
Published on July 25, 2010 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars The Flower of Almodovar`s new cinema
In Almodovar's words this represents his first mature work (and maybe it is from a certain point of view) i do personally think that there were others before(Law of Desire,... Read more
Published on February 28, 2010 by E. Macias
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated
Almodovar's work seems to follow a progression. It seems to me that The Flower Of My Secret actually marked the beginning of a new stage. Read more
Published on April 24, 2009 by U. Matos Rodriguez
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming two hours in Spain
The Flower of My Secret is a charming surprise about a middle-aged, Spanish romance writer who is devastated when her husband leaves her. The plot is actually fairly predictable. Read more
Published on November 20, 2008 by J. Badger
4.0 out of 5 stars Abandonment and recovery
"Flower of My Secret" is a more reflective, less manic film than viewers of Almodovar have come to expect, and I for one am glad. Read more
Published on September 4, 2008 by Kerry Walters
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