Directed by Steven Shainberg
Story by Steven Shainberg and Erin Cressida Wilson
Screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson
Based on the short story by Mary Gaitskill
Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Jeremy Davies, Stephen McHattie and Leslie Ann Warren
I had a very long and hectic day that took me out of the house for most of the day. I had no time to watch a movie. Now, that I am rested I watched Secretary. This movie is like the prequel to that Fifty Shades of Grey movie that is sweeping the country for some reason. This movie is very disturbing love story.
Lee Holloway (Gyllenhaal) is mentally disturbed woman that is released for the looney bin when she accidentally tries to kill herself. Coming back home she feels isolated from her family. She tries to develop her secretarial skills. Lee finds a want ad about an enigmatic lawyer simply named Mr. Grey (Spader) hires her. Things around the office turn to the S&M side when Mr. Grey falls for Lee after he sees that Lee is a cutter.
The dominant/submissive relationship is an interesting topic to put in a movie. When I heard about the movie when it came out, I thought why would a woman be humiliated by her boss? Knowing that Lee is not right in the head, it kinda makes sense. She is a self-harmer and the pain from spankings replaces her need to cut herself. She trades in one addiction for another. That aspect of the film is fascinating to watch.
I'm not saying that this is a great movie. It seems like everybody is the movie have a couple of screws loose. You have Lee's alcoholic father, Burt (McHattie) becoming physical towards her mother, Joan (Warren). Joan has a weird attachment to Lee that seems stalkerish. There is also Lee's love interest, Peter (Davies) that seems not right.