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The Secret In Their Eyes
Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago
Directed by Juan Jose Campanella
Spanish with English Subtitles
Argentina 2009
Sony Pictures Classics 2010
129 minutes


The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojo) won Argentina the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year Academy Award in 2010. It is easy to see why. This is a superb, complex, enthralling mystery. It is also a movie about love.

This foreign film Blu-ray mystery demands some adaptation from a North American viewer as the Argentinian legal system is totally foreign to us so figuring out who does what the chain of command is a bit complicated at first. You also need to know the movie takes place during the Peron dictatorship.

Benjamin Esposito is a detective working directly for a judge. He has an eye for Irene, the judge’s clerk. A young woman named Liliana Coloto is murdered and Esposito thinks he knows who did it.  Esposito is a retired detective writing on a novel on the unsolved Coloto murder. Irene is now a judge herself and he still has his eye on her.

This foreign film Blu-ray constantly swings from past to present but once you get used to that it makes sense. The Secret In Their Eyes then plays like your basic police procedural but it is also obvious director Juan Jose Campanella has added all those little details and turns that make for a great film. For example, the good cop bad cop scene is adroitly set up.

The story has quite a few interesting and warranted turns. The biggest is in the middle.

The Secret in their Eyes has its funny moments. Sandoval, Esposito’s boozer partner, constantly answers the phone with misdirection such as “Sperm Bank, Loans Department” and the scene where Esposito and his partner do a bit of B&E is superb.

The film is in Spanish or French with English, French, or Spanish subtitles.  The French from France dubbing is pretty good but not quite like what the subtitles read.

Special features include a commentary track in English subtitles