Secretary

2002

Comedy / Drama / Romance

28
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 77%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 0 10 0

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 84,234 times
July 25, 2018 at 05:18 PM

Cast

James Spader as Mr. Grey
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Lee Holloway
Jeremy Davies as Peter
Lesley Ann Warren as Joan Holloway
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
939.53 MB
1280*714
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 64 / 166
1.77 GB
1920*1072
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 64 / 218

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bigspeegs 9 / 10

Two great performances, one great film

The word "originality" has been overused, especially by me, so much that it has almost been beaten to a pulp. After all, how can one really tell if something in a film hasn't been done before? Well, I can confidently say that Steven Shainberg's "Secretary" may be the most inventive, and yes, even original, film this year. I can confidently say that in all of my time of watching and reviewing films, I have never seen anything like it.

Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has just been released from a mental institution due to the fact that she constantly would cut herself when tension started to build up around the household. After she is released, it is clear that the habit has not been broken, but cuts or no cuts, she needs a job. She goes to typing school and gets some of the highest grades in her class, making her perfect for the position of secretary at a nearby lawyer's office. She goes for the interview, and after seeing the previous secretary run out in tears and hearing the questions in the interview, it is apparent that the lawyer, E. Edward Grey (James Spader), is a bit of a creep.

Soon enough, Lee begins to cut herself at work, and needless to say, Grey catches her in the act. He doesn't take any sort of disciplinary action towards her. Instead, it seems that he can relate. He tells Lee, very inspiringly, that she will never cut herself again. Lee is uplifted, but has no real inclination as to just why he said what he did. However, she still continues to make mistakes in her writing, and after a while, it simply drives Grey nuts. He invites her into her office and tells her to "Lean over, put your elbows on the table and read the letter outloud". She does as he asks, but in a strange turn, he spanks her every other word. She runs into the bathroom hurt and embarrassed, but interestingly enough, she loved it.

I'm a bit surprised that even by this time, there has been little controversy over "Secretary". I had images in my head of feminist groups rallying for the film never to reach the screens, or possibly screams of NC-17 from everyone's favorite censors, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Thankfully though, it's gotten this far unscathed. Maybe that is because audiences at preview screenings and film festivals are realizing that although loaded with thick layers of kooky (but not that kinky) S/M, the situation is a deeply and fundamentally human one.

Basically, if S/M was ever shown in a film before, it would usually be in the context of a villain torturing a hero against their will, and usually such scenes weren't in anything that wasn't some cheap exploitation film. "Secretary" is a brave endeavor, but it knows where it's going. This isn't a gimmick, S/M sequences in the film are not the least bit perverted (the same can't be said about some segments in several Larry Clark films). These scenes are essential to understanding the characters.

What is so great about "Secretary" goes beyond its offering insight as to why anyone would find being tied to a pole and spanked while holding a carrot between their teeth even remotely attractive. Despite pretty morbid subject matter, "Secretary" flies off the screen with energy and wit, offering some of the funniest, most surprising dark comedy I have seen since "Fargo". Several scenes in the film have already become classics in my repertoire of movie moments that will stay with me forever, including one hilarious incident involving a worm.

Even with all of this, there is no way that "Secretary" would have pulled it off without Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader. Spader is creepy and oddly pathetic; his performance is such that at one moment we are sympathetic, the next we are booing him, then we're intrigued again. Maggie Gyllenhaal is equally brilliant; she gives us complete access into the mind of Lee Holloway, and it's close to impossible not to feel for her. Also, take into account how courageous she is; you try and find me another actress her age who would be willing to do half of the things she does in the film.

Spader and Gyllenhaal have such chemistry that everything clicks. Director Steven Shainberg lets us truly understand the complexities of their relationship without letting the energy lag or any of the subtle comedy fly past the audience. "Secretary" is invigorating, touching, hilarious, and often all at the same time. With too many romantic comedies trying too hard to try something new when they are in fact only going backwards, "Secretary" is a truly unique specimen.

Reviewed by Bjorn (ODDBear) 9 / 10

Fantastic love story

A self abusing mentally unstable girl finds herself a job as a secretary in a law firm owned by mysterious Spader. The two start a kinky relationship and their lives change dramatically in the process.

This is really a beautiful love story. It's quite unusual subject matter (the nature of their relationship) may cause some viewers to discard the film, which is a shame 'cause this film is really nothing but a romantic little story about two people, who feel alienated and alone, who find each other. The need to find a kindred spirit is something we all want, no matter how different we feel we are from the rest. In some ways, the charming ending, when they finally get together, reminded me in some ways of the ending in "An Officer and a Gentleman". Hope someone will relate to that.

The acting is superb. James Spader is fantastic as the troubled lawyer and Maggie Gyllenhaal is perfect as well. This is a well written, well directed and moving film that is sure to delight all those who are open minded to some unusual twists in an otherwise universal love story.

9 out of 10

Reviewed by Ralph Michael Stein 8 / 10

Not Your Typical Office Romance

Maggie Gyllenhaal deserves an Oscar nomination for her brilliant portrayal of borderline psychotic, self-mutilating Lee Holloway, a former mental institution patient seeking to sustain herself - vocationally and emotionally - in a challenging world where she has few safe harbors. She comes from a messy family background although that alone can't explain her illness.

Learning typing, she gets a secretary's job with lawyer E. Edward Grey (James Spader, who also turns in a first-rate, nuanced performance). Grey refuses to have any computers in his very smart, expensive law office. Like many lawyers he's a perfectionist who abhors typographical errors but his obsession with perfection reflects more than an anal personality hitched to a law degree. His solo practice seems to thrive better than his self-control of a suppressed sexuality, awakened by Maggie at first unknowingly.

This is a film about what many consider to be deviant behavior (sado-masochism and bondage-discipline, not your usual Hollywood romantic fun and games) that most will concur is uncommon in the workplace. Director Steven Shainberg and his cast - and Gyllenhaal and Spader carry the film, forget the supporting actors - show Lee and Grey's rocky and developing relationship with candor, without condemnation and without exploitation. The lawyer and his secretary are sexualized in a way few have experienced and those who have don't talk to folks outside their circle.

This is a black comedy/a black drama. It either grabs or repels the viewer: there's no in-between. The resolution? Is it realistic or a cop-out? I'd love to hear from those able to comment from experience on IMDb's discussion board. But I have a feeling few will post reactions.

A very different film that I rate 8/10 on a personal scale where I value the deep and tortured acting projecting the absorbing conflict of this sexualized working (initially) relationship.

Read more IMDb reviews

12 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment