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 ... See full summary »
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Kika, a young cosmetologist, is called to the mansion of Nicolas, an American writer to make-up the corpse of his stepson, Ramon. Ramon, who is not dead, is revived by Kika's attentions and... See full summary »
A girl's mother returns after 15 years to find her daughter has married one of her (the mother's) old boyfriends. They try to mend their broken mother/daughter relationship and deal with ... See full summary »
An ex-bullfighter who gets turned on by killing, a lady lawyer with the same fetish and a young man driven insane by his religious upbringing - these are the main characters in this stylish... See full summary »
A woman's lover leaves her, and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. She confronts his wife and son, who are as clueless as she. Meanwhile her girlfriend is afraid the police... See full summary »
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. Written by
Miguel A. Andrade <firstname.lastname@example.org>
European book supermarket fnac was only too happy to help out with the production, providing a huge exterior awning of the cover of a faked Amanda Gris novel that hung outside their Madrid office. See more »
Another bumpy, colourful ride on Almodovar's rollercoaster
The title of Almodovar's later film, All About My Mother, was a nod of respect in the direction of the 1950 Hollywood film, All About Eve, which contains Bette Davis's famous line - "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night". This quote could well appear at the start of most of the Spanish director's films, certainly Flower. Here, the rider on his emotional rollercoaster is Leocadia (Leo) Macias (Marisa Paredes), whose marriage and life are in crisis. She is not as young as she was, and her handsome husband Paco (Imanol Arias) has lost interest and is about to leave her. The "secret" of the title is that Leo writes romantic novels under an assumed name, but hers is not the only secret revealed in the movie.
Spoiled and self-centred Leo is not the most likeable of women; her sister Rosa (the wonderful Rossy de Palma) who looks after their aged mother probably deserves more of our sympathy. But the nicest people don't necessarily provide the most interesting stories; and Almodovar isn't trying to enlist our pity, but our understanding. If, according to the oft-quoted screenplay dictum, character is defined by action, then what he shows us is a courageous character who overcomes her self-pity, and takes up life and love again. Leo comes to terms with her loss, in much the same way as the mother in film's opening scene finally accepts that her son is dead. But that episode turns out to be a repeatable training session for doctors, so perhaps Almodovar is warning Leo that loss of love can take place more than once, or possibly he is suggesting to the audience that they regard Leo's story as a training session for life.
This unashamed melodrama is conveyed via magical acting, great camerawork, and above all intense colours. There are a few specifically Spanish touches, including a sequence where Leo and her mother return to their idyllic, picturesque family village, and a flamenco dance (to Miles Davis music). As usual, there are also reminders of the downsides of modern urban life, though some of the references to drugs and unemployment are a little forced and superfluous. All in all, this is a great pictorial story teller telling perhaps not his greatest tale, but certainly one worth listening to and seeing.
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