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The Flower of My Secret (1995)
"La flor de mi secreto" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  8 March 1996 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,366 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 23 user | 42 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leo Macías
Juan Echanove ...
Ángel
Carme Elias ...
Betty
...
Rosa
Chus Lampreave ...
Madre de Leo
Kiti Mánver ...
Manuela (as Kiti Manver)
Joaquín Cortés ...
Antonio
Manuela Vargas ...
Blanca
Imanol Arias ...
Paco
Gloria Muñoz ...
Alicia
Juan José Otegui ...
Tomas
Nancho Novo ...
Doctor B
...
Doctor A
Alicia Agut ...
Neighbor A
Marisol Muriel ...
Dancer
Edit

Storyline

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 <andrade@gredos.cnb.uam.es>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every woman has a secret...

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Flower of My Secret  »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 525,834,755 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Muchachada nui: Episode #4.13 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Tonada de luna llena
Written by Simón Díaz
Performed by Caetano Veloso
See more »

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User Reviews

Another bumpy, colourful ride on Almodovar's rollercoaster
3 January 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

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.


25 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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