El secreto de sus ojos

El Secreto de sus Ojos


(Cinema City- June 1, 2010)

It is a bit of a mystery and a bit of a detective procedural. It has elements of a romance and a thrilling chase sequence to match any other of this past year. It is about life, loss, love, fear, pain, death, memory, consequences, and other such things.

The movie envelopes you—swirls around you—both in content and its style, with its constantly mobile camera tripping, falling, lunging forward—swimming on the emotions and feelings of each scene.

It is a film that concerns obsession and observation and, most of all perhaps, passion. And passion you cannot hide. It is in your actions, it is in your eyes.

Twenty years after a murder/rape case, a retired detective decides to turn it into the subject of his novel, only to realize that with choices he made in that case and during that period of his life, he subjected himself to a life of nothing. Told simultaneously in the present, while recounting the events decades prior, this is an immersive cinematic treat—sometimes intense and rough going, but always involving.

The winner of the Foreign Language Academy Award, “The Secret in Their Eyes” once again proves that that category is perhaps the strongest of all the Oscar categories. On these shores, we seem to want to give awards to the “Important” pictures. Sometimes these are great. But I can’t think of any that satisfy as thoroughly as this, “Un prophete,” or “Ajami.” America does make films this satisfying (a paltry amount, but still), the Academy just rarely nominates any.

While cinema may be stagnating in America, this film along with the others proves that there are thriving ideas and countries still willing to explore them.  But don’t worry, soon enough we’ll catch on and bastardize them with second class remakes.

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