An emotionally fragile woman recently released from a mental hospital for self mutilation goes to school to gain secretarial skills to gain employment. She has an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother who are clueless as to who she really is which a tormented soul who really wants to find something with which she can find success. She is a great secretary and finds a job with a unique, old fashioned, but off center in charge boss with a somewhat sadistic sexual proclivity. She grows and evolves and so does he. Written by
This is one of the only mainstreams film that portrays BDSM in a positive light and not as abuse. See more »
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I got out of the institution on the day of my sister's wedding. I had started to get used to the place. Breakfast at 8:00, classes at 2:00. Therapy at 4:00, and asleep by 10:00.
[Lee's doctor says goodbye]
You can call me any time, Lee. I will always try to be of help to you.
Inside, life was simple.
[Lee hugs her doctor]
Thank you, Dr. Twardon.
For that reason, I was reluctant to go.
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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.
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