Lee Holloway is a smart, quirky woman in her twenties who returns to her hometown in Florida after a brief stay in a mental hospital. In search of relief from herself and her oppressive childhood environment, she starts to date a nerdy friend from high school and takes a job as a secretary in a local law firm, soon developing an obsessive crush on her older boss, Mr. Grey. Through their increasingly bizarre relationship, Lee follows her deepest longings to the heights of masochism and finally to a place of self-affirmation. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The song that plays over Mr. Gray and Lee at the end of the movie is "Chariots Rise" by Lizzie West. The original lyric is "What a fool am I, to fall so in love," but the director did not want to imply that Lee was being foolish, and asked if it could be altered. Because she wanted the song to be in the movie, Lizzie West re-recorded the line as "What grace have I, to fall so in love." See more »
Lee is copying a one page document with the copier cover open. This might be okay if the page was positioned exactly right, but the page is in the middle of the glass instead of in a corner (which is usual) and after Grey tells her "good letter" she accidentally moves the page but continues copying. This would definitely result in askew copies with dark sections. See more »
Secretary is the first of its kind - a very dark love story. First of its kind in that it deals with themes never seen before seen in mainstream Hollywood cinema - S&M, sexual dominance and submission.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is outstanding in a potential minefield of a role - she handles it with dignity and even provides some effective dark humour.
The story here is that her character, Lee, applies for a job as a secretary for the firm owned by James Spader's brilliant Mr Grey. However, Lee has a history of self-harm and masochism and Grey has a dominance complex along with a very sadistic streak. Combine these 2 in theory and you have 2 very happy people. But this is no ordinary love story...
Spader, as stated, is brilliant. He brings an icy steel to the troubled Grey, but also provides a touch of black humour which comes at some great moments to 'release the tension'.
For the themes supplied here you'd probably expect a lot of raunchiness - well there are sexual moments, of course, but there is nothing gratuitous, which is in itself an achievement and well handled.
Overall it's quirky, off-beat, and a little bit different.
Worth a view.
174 of 187 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?