Secretary Steven Shainberg

Secretary Steven Shainberg
In the parlance of mainstream America, family, stability and comfort are good; pain, humiliation and submission are bad. Secretary, the story of a young woman who overcomes her own personal demons when she enters into a submissive relationship with her boss, turns that equation on its head in this stunningly beautiful and sharply erotic film. Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhall) has just been released from a mental hospital, where she's been because of her penchant for cutting herself; upon her release, she gets a boring job as a typist for the law firm of E. Edward Grey (James Spader). She's one of many secretaries that have been through the office — to the point where Grey's Help Wanted sign outside is a permanent fixture — because Grey too is struggling with his "bad" desires to dominate. In a journey from the darkness of internal struggle into the light of acceptance and love, Holloway and Grey realise their unusual bond. The DVD is enhanced only by a commentary from director Shainberg and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson (adapted from a short story by Mary Gaitskill) that is interesting but not spectacular. The film itself is the treasure — a beautifully constructed, fascinating look at an unconventional romance that is heartbreaking and startlingly sexy. Extras: commentary by Shainberg and Wilson; featurette; photo gallery. (Lion's Gate)