I loved James Spader as both freak (Sex Lies and Video Tape) and upper-echelon snob (Pretty In Pink ref: "Blane, the girl's nada"). To have a film like with James Spader (like Secretary) that combines themes of the two aforementioned films as
well as the poignant post-adoloscent girl-loneliness seen in Virgin
Suicides is almost perfection, at least for a first-time director Steven
Shainberg. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Lee, an emotionally (and physically)
scarred 20-year-old, recently released from a psychiatric facility in
LA-area suburbia in the early '80s.
The film follows her plight to societal
normalcy which entails getting a job ("I am a Sec-er-a-tary"), becoming a
girlfriend to the boy-next-door, etc. She ends up as the secretary for a
meticulous, anti-social, private practice lawyer (Spader) and falls for him
as they begin to play with the boss/secretary, dominant/submissive
relationship that Spader's character can't help but set in motion.
worry, the visuals don't turn into some Madonna-circa-'91 or bad
Depeche Mode video. Gyllenhaal brings substantive, layered emotion to the
role, as she vacillates between the clingy little girl and a driven woman who
knows what she wants sexually. How could you not love a movie with a
Gyllenhaal in it?
Secretary is currently playing select markets, and opens everywhere later this month.
Source: Jeannine Magno