- Pedro Almodóvar is not an auteur with long, quiet stretches between films. He works quickly (doubly remarkable given he writes his own screenplays) so it is certainly notable that between big breakthrough films like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) and All About My Mother (1999) he can continue to churn out quality work like The Flower of My Secret.
- The Flower or My Secret finds Almodovar back in the milieu of the writing process with old fashioned romantic typewriters again like Law of Desire (1987). It features Marisha Paredes as Leo Macias, an alcoholic writing under a pseudonym as her marriage falls apart.
- At the 18-minute mark there is a strong sequence as Almodovar uses a low angle to capture the El Pais building as Paredes steps into the frame in profile at the street light.
- At the 25-minute mark the two sisters are photographed (the other sister played by Rossy de Palma- a regular in the Almodovar troupe) with white fake flowers in the foreground right of the frame.
- Almodovar will often obstruct Paredes face- in one instance he shoots her from behind the chair- and slowly elevates the camera.
- This is no more than a bit of trivia but in one of the books the Leo character is writing they describe the plot of the future Almodovar film Volver (2006).
Fracturing (she is using an alias, betraying herself) visuals (tied to character) are used in several compositions. In one at the 47-minute mark she is talking to the publisher at El Pais (Juan Echanove as Angel) and Almodovar captures three of her off the green glass.
It happens again at the 50-minute mark in an even stronger shot as her husband Paco comes home and there are an arrangement of mirrors in the entryway.
- At the 66-minute mark Almodovar encapsulates her in a crowd as she is consoled by Angel and the camera lifts upwards via crane—and then the camera tilts up to the sky to reveal the stunning confetti in the air with the blue backdrop of the sky.
At the 73-minute mark the Betty character (Carme Elias) is foreground left facing left in profile, with Paredes in the background facing right—a sublime arrangement.
- This is a substantial resume builder for Marisha Paredes (frequent Almodovar collaborator- again in 1999’s All About My Mother) as a complex woman- filled with wit, anger– in the throes of a breakdown.
At the 99-minute mark at Angel’s house, there is a hole in the yellow postmodern interior design that makes for a camera iris when he answers the doorbell for Leo.
One of Almodóvar’s trademark shots at the 100-minute mark (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Pain and Glory) with the reclining chairs facing each other for a handsomely symmetrical final image—all with his patented interior design décor work (decorated backsplash on the fireplace).
- Highly Recommend film- top 10 of the year quality