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The Secret in Their Eyes

2009 Mystery & Suspense

Juan José Campanella helmed this crime thriller about judicial cover-ups and corruption in Argentina. Ricardo Darín stars as Benjamín, a former criminal court employee who wants to write a novel about an Argentine case from the 1970s in which a woman was raped and murdered. He confides his intentions to a judge with whom he's been secretly smitten for years, Irene (Soledad Villamil), but she expresses reservations about the idea, for reasons that eventually become apparent. Meanwhile, flashbacks set up the central story, unfolding in 1970s Argentina. In that narrative, Argentina has fallen under the control of a military junta and a fair trial has become an increasingly uncommon event in that nation's courts. A woman is found raped and murdered while her husband was at work, and two immigrant workers are essentially forced into confessing to the crime. Benjamín then teams up with his colleague and friend, the lush Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), and the two go about identifying and tagging the perpetrator of the original crime. Subtle detail in a photograph alerts Benjamin to the possibility that a man named Gómez (Javier Godino) may have been the real culprit, but finding Gómez and obtaining conclusive evidence against him is no simple task. Moreover, as Benjamín and Pablo struggle to have the case reopened, they also find that bureaucracy and power in Argentine government have made this close to impossible. El Secreto de Sus Ojos (aka The Secret in Their Eyes) received its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. more..

Director: Juan José Campanella

Starring: Ricardo Darín, Guillermo Francella, Javier Godino, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago

Reviews

  • Juan Jose Campanella is the writer-director, and here is a man who creates a complete, engrossing, lovingly crafted film. He is filled with his stories. The Secret in Their Eyes is a rebuke to formula screenplays. We grow to know the characters, and the story pays due respect to their complexities and needs.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    20 January 2013

  • An attractive, messy drama riddled with violence and edged with comedy that comes with a hint of Grand Guignol, a suggestion of politics and three resonant, deeply appealing performances.

    Manohla Dargis - The New York Times

    20 January 2013

  • A beautifully calibrated movie in the most traditional sense of the word -- the ideal marriage of topic, talent and tone.

    Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times

    20 January 2013

  • The Secret in Their Eyes has a decent shot at wearing down resistance to subtitled films. Don't be put off. This spellbinder from Argentina will sneak up and floor you. It's that good.

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    20 January 2013

  • The Secret in Their Eyes is that rare police procedural that engages emotions as well as intellect.

    Claudia Puig - USA Today

    20 January 2013

Awards

  • Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

    Academy Awards (2010)

  • Best Actor

    Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina (2009)

  • Best Actor (Mejor Actor Protagonico)

    Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards (2010)

  • Best Latin-American Film (Mejor Película Iberoamericana)

    Ariel Awards, Mexico (2010)

  • Best Film Not in the English Language

    BAFTA Awards (2011)