Rape, murder, love and life, they're all on display in the tantalizing drama-thriller The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos). The Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Picture at this year's ceremonies, The Secret in Their Eyes is one of the best movies of the decade and further proof that other countries are more and more responsible for delivering the deep, thought-provoking movies that Hollywood fails to produce.
In The Secret in Their Eyes, retired legal counselor Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darín) decides to write a novel about one of his unsolved cases, that of a 23-year old woman who was brutally raped and murdered decades earlier. He recounts on both the case and his interest in his superior Irene (Soledad Villamil) as past and present slowly converge around the truth.
The movie is a perfect blend of drama and thriller, a picture that is motivated by crime but built upon incredible performances, quality writing and strong themes and symbolism. Working off the novel La pregunta de sus ojos by Eduardo Sacheri, writer/director Juan José Campanella has crafted a compelling, mesmerizing tale that works on every level.
The performances are excellent and the ending one of the most chilling scenes in recent memory. The Secret in Their Eyes won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture, but it still got slighted. It is one of the best movies of the last year, if not the best. Better than The Hurt Locker. And Avatar. And perhaps every other film nominated that year.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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