“The Secret in Their Eyes”
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
I saw the original Broadway production of “Evita,” where Patti LuPone sang the showstopper, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” Being a film critic, that memory recently set me to thinking that Argentina’s film industry has nothing to cry about, because it’s the only Latin American country to ever win an Oscar. In fact, two of them.
First time was 1985’s “La historia official.” And last year it snagged the golden statuette for Best Foreign Language Film for an intriguing murder mystery titled “El secreto de sus ojos” – or as we call it in English “The Secret in Their Eyes.”
The Tropic Cinema continues its tradition of bringing us the best films from abroad as well as important indie films and occasional mainstream blockbusters. “The Secret in Their Eyes” is currently playing there in its main Carper auditorium.
The film uses the technique of flashbacks (also called analepsis) to tell the story about a long-ago murder of a young woman that haunts Buenos Ares civil investigator Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darín). Now ready to retire, he tries to come to terms with the unsolved 1974 crime by writing a novel about it.
Espósito along with his alcoholic assistant Pablo (Guillrimo Francella) had pursued a man named Gómez (Javier Godino) without success. Espósito promised the murdered woman’s grief-stricken husband (Pablo Rago) that he would solve the crime – and in the end he sorta does.
Amid more killings, Espósito tries to deal with unresolved feelings for his boss, an attractive lawyer (Soledad Villamil) who might just share his romantic notions.
This is director-writer Juan José Campanella’s fourth feature length movie, for he mostly directs such American TV series as “Law & Order,” “House,” and “30 Rock.”
His star Ricardo Darín has worked with Campanella in three films. And third time’s the charm, winning an Academy Award for “The Secret in Their Eyes.”
This Argentine-Spain co-production also won the Goya Award for Best Spanish Languish Foreign Film. Although born in Buenos Ares and working in America, Juan José Campanella is a Spanish citizen.
But he’s adding to the film culture … down Argentine way.
[from Solares Hill]