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The Flower Of My Secret 1996

R CC
4.2 out of 5 stars (29) IMDb 7.1/10

A best-selling author struggles to keep her head above water in the face of a crumbling marriage. Incapable of delivering the rosy pulp required by her contract, she pens a dark tale that is deemed unpublishable until the novel is stolen from her trash and sold, becoming the basis of a major feature film.

Starring:
Marisa Paredes, Juan Echanove
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, International
Director Pedro Almodóvar
Starring Marisa Paredes, Juan Echanove
Supporting actors Carme Elias, Rossy de Palma, Chus Lampreave, Kiti Mánver, Joaquín Cortés, Manuela Vargas, Imanol Arias, Gloria Muñoz, Juan José Otegui, Nancho Novo, Jordi Mollà, Alicia Agut, Marisol Muriel, Teresa Ibáñez, José Palau, Abraham García, Chavela Vargas, Daniel Cebrián
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 3, 2006
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is movie is one of my all time favorites. Almodovar clearly outdid himself here, not only on the directing but also on the script. The acting is superb, very few characters with strong personalities and intricate lives. I highly recommend this movie, it is artsy, moving, funny and always a treat to watch. Viva Almodovar!
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Format: Amazon Video
One of my favorites! It's as if Almodovar said to himself, 'I think I know how to make a decent soap opera and it will be fun, it will have some music, there will be some dancing, and there will be some lovely middle-aged heterosexual romance.' Then he did that. It works.

The music is wonderful. There's some light humor. The male romantic lead has a paunch. The kisses are sweet, not sloppy. This is a delightful movie. Trust me.
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Format: DVD
Few people seemed to like Almodóvar’s 1995 melodrama, The Flower of My Secret at the time of its release. It represented an unexpected departure from the director’s usual outrageously bouncy sex-filled, drug-fuelled gender-bending. Coming particularly after the indescribably wacky Kika (1993) and that film’s jokey rape and air-born semen, this film’s sober tale of the break-up of a middle-aged woman’s marriage seems on casual viewing positively dull and not Almodóvar-like at all. Examined closely however and we discover that as much as the style has changed (frantic kinetic cutting giving way to long slow scenes of Bergman-esque psycho-drama), the film is still brimming over with this idiosyncratic director’s usual preoccupations. Indeed, looking back from 20 years on, this film emerges as a remarkably courageous achievement vital to the change in direction Almodóvar took. We appreciate it is the absolutely straight melodramatic ‘woman’s picture’ he needed to make before he could re-integrate his trademark transgressive concerns into the serious and altogether deeper metaphysical context of his next five highly acclaimed films, from Live Flesh (1998) through to Volver (2006).

The most obvious trademark Almodóvar ingredient to endure is the portrayal of a woman in emotional crisis. Very much Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) minus the farce, the film tells the story of Leo (the wonderful Marisa Paredes), a writer of soppy romantic ‘women’s fiction’ published under the pseudonym ‘Amanda Gris’.
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