2 Best Movies to Watch by Patrick Bauchau

Staff & contributors

Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is compassionate and diminutive, but her social awkwardness hinders her as she attempts to navigate young adulthood. After recently being hospitalized for self-harm, Lee is determined to prove she is capable of autonomously taking care of herself. She begins working as a secretary for E. Edward Grey (James Spader), a meticulous attorney.

It’s not long before both Lee and Edward realize they’re attracted to one another’s opposite natures: Lee’s obedience and Edward’s dominance. They begin a mutually consensual BDSM relationship, with both experiencing a sexual and emotional awakening. 

The premise may sound familiar: 50 Shades of Grey is widely acknowledged as, at the very least, owing its title to Secretary. But while 50 Shades of Grey portrays an unhealthy, toxic, and superficial idea of a BDSM affair, Secretary maintains that consent must be at the core of any relationship. And ultimately for Lee and Edward, BDSM becomes a way for them to communicate and overcome their individual pain, and unite stronger as a vulnerable, loving whole.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alison Tatlock, Amy Locane, Christina Gray, David Wiater, Diane McGee, Erin Cressida Wilson, Ezra Buzzington, Herbert Russell, James Spader, Jeremy Davies, Jessica Tuck, Julene Renee, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Lacey Kohl, Lauren Cohn, Lesley Ann Warren, Lily Knight, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary Joy, Michael Mantell, Osgood Perkins, Oz Perkins, Patrick Bauchau, Sabrina Grdevich, Shannon Convery, Stephen McHattie, Steven Fierberg, Steven Shainberg

Director: Steven Shainberg

Rating: R

, 2004

While it plays the standard beats of the musician biopic, Ray is a fairly entertaining biopic centered on Ray Charles, the man that pioneered soul music, mixing in rhythm and blues, jazz, and gospel into a brand new sound. It goes through plenty of the melodramatic moments familiar to the genre– the prior hardships, the drug addiction, and of course, the moments of musical bliss– and there are some fictionalized moments, but Jamie Foxx’s excellent portrayal and Charles’ tunes are able to carry the film all the way through. Though the way Charles was parented in childhood is a tough watch, and isn't the best way to parent, Ray sticks true to the singer’s life, with every scene personally approved by the legend before his death.

Genre: Drama, Music

Actor: Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Bokeem Woodbine, Carol Sutton, Chris Thomas King, Clifton Powell, Curtis Armstrong, David Krumholtz, Denise Dowse, Gary Grubbs, Harry Lennix, Jamie Foxx, Jedda Jones, Kerry Washington, Kurt Fuller, Larenz Tate, Patrick Bauchau, Paula Jai Parker, Regina King, Richard Schiff, Rick Gomez, Robert Wisdom, Sharon Warren, Tequan Richmond, Terrence Howard, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Warwick Davis, Wendell Pierce

Director: Taylor Hackford

Rating: PG-13