– . – The Secret In Their Eyes
The Secret In Their Eyes
Despite being up against an imposing group of foreign language films, including Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet and Michael Haneke’s White Ribbon, Juan José Campanella’s The Secret in Their Eyes is a worthy winner of this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
It tells the tale of a retired Argentinean federal justice agent, Benjamín Esposito (Darín), who decides to write a novel set around a 25-year-old rape and murder case that has plagued his life ever since. As the story unfolds between the past and present, his colleagues are slowly drawn into the tragic events surrounding the case; events that have irrevocable effects on all their lives.
The acting is first-rate throughout, with Argentinean superstar Darín bringing his usual gravitas to the beleaguered Esposito. Thematically, the film is awash with contemplations on memory, regret, grief, the choices one makes in life, unrequited love, class differences and the passage of time. While this may have become turgid and overwrought in a lesser director’s hands, Campanella carries it off with assured precision, hardly ever faltering with a taut mix of humour, pathos, beautiful photography and set design, and some edge-of-your-seat suspense. Highly recommended. 4 stars