The Flower of My Secret

The Flower of My Secret (Spanish: La flor de mi secreto) is a 1995 film by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. The film was selected as the Spanish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 68th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[2][3]

The Flower of My Secret
The Flower of My Secret.jpg
Directed byPedro Almodóvar
Produced byAgustín Almodóvar
Esther García
Written byPedro Almodóvar
StarringMarisa Paredes
Juan Echanove
Carme Elías
Rossy de Palma
Chus Lampreave
Music byAlberto Iglesias
CinematographyAffonso Beato
Edited byJosé Salcedo
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • 22 September 1995 (1995-09-22)
Running time
102 minutes
Budget$4.5 million
Box office$19 million[1]


Leocadia ("Leo") Macías (Marisa Paredes) writes popular romance novels under a pen name, Amanda Gris. Unlike her romantic ("pink") novels, her love life is troubled. She has a difficult relationship with her husband Paco (Imanol Arias), a military officer stationed in Brussels and later in Bosnia, who is physically and emotionally distant. The film starts with Leo writing about the feeling of having lost her lover, a feeling that she compares to the pain of a tight pair of boots that she cannot take off. Almodovar took for this first part of the film strong plot elements from Dorothy Parker's short story, The Lovely Leave[4]

Leo begins to change the direction of her writing, wanting to focus more on darker themes such as pain and loss, and can no longer write her romantic Amanda Gris novels. However, her publishers demand sentimental happy endings, at least until her contract is up. She begins to re-evaluate her life through her relationship with her publishers, her husband, her best friend Betty (Carme Elías), her "crab-faced" sister Rosa (Rossy de Palma) and her bickering elderly mother (Chus Lampreave). Only her maid (played by flamenco dancer Manuela Vargas) appears steadfast. She also meets Ángel (Juan Echanove), a prominent newspaper editor who quickly falls for Leo and her writing.

After signing a contract with the newspaper, El País, Leo tells Ángel that she cannot write romances anymore, and that she has written a dark ("black") novel about a young mother whose daughter kills her husband because he tried to rape her. After that, the corpse of the dead man is hidden in a refrigerator. Although Leo throws this story out, she later learns that someone is turning it into a movie. (In fact, Almodóvar himself created a movie based on this same plot, Volver, released eleven years later in 2006.)

After the inevitable disintegration of her marriage and then learning that her best friend was her husband's lover, Leo takes and survives an overdose, then goes with her mother to the village of Almagro to rest and recover. There she receives a call from her publishers, who are apparently delighted by the two manuscripts they have received from her — romances Leo never wrote or submitted. She returns to Madrid and learns that Ángel is her ghostwriter. More surprises unfold when she attends a brilliant dance performance featuring her maid, Manuela Vargas, and Joaquín Cortés, who plays the maid's son, Antonio. Antonio soon confesses that he is the one who took her manuscript now being made into a movie. A final surprise for Leo: after a false start, she finds love with the smitten Ángel, and the film ends with the tenuous promise of a "new year".


References forward to other Almodóvar filmsEdit

In The Flower of my Secret, the plot of Leo's new, gritty, novel is stolen and used as the basis of a film screenplay The Freezer. In a coup of life imitating art, a decade later it formed the basis of Almodóvar's own 2006 film Volver.

Another sub-plot scene from The Flower of My Secret, the student doctors being taught how to persuade a grieving mother to allow her son's organs to be used in transplant, was used as the starting point of Almodóvar's 1999 film All About My Mother.

Leo tells Ángel that she earned money reading and writing letters for her illiterate neighbors as a child, a detail from Almodóvar's own life that appears in Pain and Glory (the title of which bears a striking resemblance to Leo's El País column, titled "Dolor y Vida.")[5]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "La Flor de mi secreto (The Flower of My Secret) (1995)- JPBox-Office". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  3. ^ "41 to Compete for Foreign Language Oscar Nominations". Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Pedro Almodovar, Tempted by Austerity". 26 March 1996. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  5. ^

External linksEdit