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Spain / France 1995
Directed by
Pedro Almodovar
103 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

The Flower Of My Secret

Almodóvar walks a dangerous but interesting line when, as with this film, he intertwines real drama with parody. The risk is that the latter will diminish the former but in this case he achieves a marvellous balance (although by the film's ending who will recall its film-within-a-film opening?).

Like Godard, albeit in a very different way, Almodóvar sets the real and the illusory, reality and representation against each other and explores the role of fiction (in its widest sense) and the various forms of media in our lives as well as the interplay between high and popular culture. Mercifully however, he does this without didacticism and great affection for the Hollywood tradition. The whole thing is given added interest by an excellent performance by Marisa Paredes in the central role as a psuedonymous author popular novels, as is so often the case with Almodóvar, a woman in crisis, her marriage on the rocks, her family driving her crazy. Throw in some characteristic Spanish cultural elements such as village life and the tango and the result is one of the director's most accomplished films.




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