The Flower of My Secret

Director: Pedro Almodovar
Screenwriters: Pedro Almodovar

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


A woman is once again the center of Pedro Almodóvar’s attentions. This time it is the beautiful Leo, played by Marisa Paredes. She is a novelist: successful, sexy, middle-aged, yet vital. Then her husband up and leaves her, and she is thrown into immediate despair. Her life quickly collapses. Even her writing goes from brilliant to bleak. Leo‘s plight is not uncommon, yet in her case, she refuses to be put out to pasture. She has real needs and real power. There is a sense that all along, she has innately known she was living a lie. As if suddenly waking from the deep sleep that has been her life, she must find a way of embracing the new person she has become, a person who can be alone.

Almodóvar fans may find The Flower of My Secret a departure from the wild free-for-alls of his earlier films. On the other hand, he doesn’t need to revert to these antics to tell a story with this much emotional depth. There is a stillness in this new work that makes it all the more poignant. Of course, color plays its usual important part in the film with a wonderful use of lush reds, yellows, and oranges, and there is still plenty of the Almodóvar razor-sharp wit. The style may be different, but his genius, as always, is his attention to character and his insight into the psyche of the people he knows better than anyone.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]