The Secret in Their Eyes

Film Review by Philip Concannon | 02 Aug 2010
Film title: The Secret in Their Eyes
Director: Juan José Campanella
Starring: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Javier Godino, Pablo Rago, Guillermo Francella
Release date: 13 August 2010
Certificate: 18

The Secret in Their Eyes was the surprise winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at the last Academy Awards, but underneath the glossy surface, Juan José Campanella's film is a rather silly and flabby thriller. In its favour, the picture boasts a typically strong central performance from Ricardo Darín as the ex-investigator still haunted by a 20 year old murder case, and he shares a tangible chemistry with the female lead Soledad Villamil. Campanella orchestrates the action with plenty of style and assurance, and the film is undeniably a pleasure to watch thanks to Félix Monti's lovely cinematography, but the director never really digs deeply into the emotions of his story, and much of the plotting strains credibility. The identification of a suspect from a sideways glance in an old photo (hence the title) and his obsession with a football team are particular groaners, and things don't improve at the climax, with Campanella offering us a dénouement that's both laughable and sentimental. [Philip Concannon]