The Flower of My Secret
This overlooked 1995 treat is a classic Douglas Sirk-ian chick flick with a twist, and it draws the line separating Pedro Almodóvar’s early years’ impish naughtiness and his more refined and considered maturity. Brassy Almodóvar veteran Marisa Paredes plays Leo, a firebrand writer and wife to the drifting-away military man Paco (Imanol Arias), who embarks on a peacekeeping assignment to Bosnia to get away from her. Thankfully Leo isn’t hurting for money, being the unknown woman behind the pen name Amanda Gris, the wildly successful author behind a series of trashy romantic novels. Leo loathes these books, and even starts attacking them when she begins penning book reviews for a newspaper. Throw in well-intentioned meddling friend (Carmen Elias), a satellite of a sister (the oddly gorgeous Rossy de Palma), and a Gris-adoring potential suitor (Juan Echanove), and Almodóvar winningly explores a woman’s midlife life and love with the tender sensitivity that come full bloom in All About My Mother and Talk to Her.