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April 10, 2010

The Secret in Their Eyes

The Secret in Their Eyes 2009 Deserving winner of the 2009 Best Foreign Film Oscar, "The Secret in Their Eyes" is a gripping mystery film layered with canny cultural, political, psychological, and romantic elements. Argentinean writer/director Juan Jose Campanella methodically lays the narrative groundwork of a murder case in which a 23-year-old bride was brutally raped and murdered, leaving her loyal husband Ricardo (Pablo Rago) devastated and searching for her killer. Retired state prosecution investigator Benjamin (Ricardo Darin) works on a novel about the unsolved 25-year-old case when he seeks out the opinion of his former boss and would-be love interest Irene (Soledad Villamil) who now serves as a judge. The film neatly flashes back to a forward moving story with Benjamin and his alcoholic partner Sandoval (Guillermo Francella) going to any lengths to identify, capture, and convict the murderer. Outstanding performances from Ricardo Darin and Soledad Villamil embellish Campanella's confident '70s period visual style and precise tempo. "The Secret in Their Eyes" is a complex romantic thriller to be savored.

Rated R. 127 mins. (A) (Five Stars - out of five/no halves)

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