When this film was released in 2002 it caused a controversy among feminists who were divided on whether it was exploitative or empowering. The fabulous Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a disturbed young woman with a penchant for cutting who finds stability and solace as a submissive secretary. We’ll leave it for you to decide whether she’s a victim of her domineering boss or if she’s finally making her own choices. We found it uplifting in a dark and subversive sort of way. (And it was really the suburbs rather than the bondage that was subversive.) [us, 2002]

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