The Secret Life of Words
The Secret Life of Words (2006)

Writer-director Isabel Coixet's (My Life Without Me) beautifully wrought chamber drama The Secret Life of Words opens on Hanna (Sarah Polley), a laconic, backward and introverted girl in her early '30s, quietly drowning in her own… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 22, 2006
DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
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Critic Score: 69% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: The Secret Life of Words is a slow, mannered drama, but with a revelatory and powerful ending that rewards the patient viewer.

Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter

The claustrophobic and artificial atmosphere of the setting is unfortunately matched by the equally artificial drama.

Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

Though I continue to have strong reservations about the stylistic abstractions in Ms. Coixet's narrative, the performances given by Ms. Polley, Mr. Robbins and Ms. Christie take me a long way in accepting and recommending the whole package.

Jean-François Vandeuren

Un parcours vers une existence un peu plus normale que Coixet illustre avec tact et simplicité en tirant merveilleusement profit de l'immense talent de ses deux interprètes

Full review…
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly

What pleasure there is to be wrung from the exceptionally banal The Secret Life of Words lies in the harsh, unforgiving beauty (lyrically shot by Jean-Claude Larrieu) and wonderfully strange social life of the isolated rig.

Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic

Like Ceylan -- like many a fine director -- Coixet has made her film less as a drama than as the traversal of a state of mind, a mood.

Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile

Heartache is guaranteed. And so it is in The Secret Life of Words, a strangely beautiful film about an ugly memory that Hanna (Sarah Polley) carries for the rest of her life

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Lael Loewenstein
Los Angeles Times

There may be no young actress today better at embodying a blend of wounded innocence and stoic pride than Sarah Polley. In The Secret Life of Words, she has a part worthy of her gifts.

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Ella Taylor
Village Voice

In due course skeletons will march out of closets, but the movie yields up its secrets with slow reluctance.

Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

Can't resist the meaningful political backstory that will transform her characters into symbols--that is, into ventriloquist dummies rattling off humdrum rhetoric.

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More reviews for The Secret Life of Words

Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
A worthwhile film but that doesn't mean that it's an enjoyable movie viewing experience.
Curtis Lilly
Tim Robbins had great dialog in this film (until the ending). A burn victim on an oil rig in the ocean, who falls in love with his war-refugee nurse Sarah… More
Leigh Ryan
Not being much of a fan of Polley, this movie breaks all the rules. Wonderful story and fabulous acting (especially Polley). The way it slowly tells the… More
Craig Sutcliffe
<b><u>Directed by:</u> Isabel Coixet.</b> <b><u>Starring:</u> Sarah Polley, Tim Robbins.</b> I had heard prier… More
Jens S.
This very calm, quiet drama tells the story of a young laconic woman working at a factory without having much of a life, being forced to take some time off for… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Secret Life of Words", Hanna(Sarah Polley) is a hearing impaired immigrant living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has… More