The Secret In Their Eyes (2009) Review – IMDB Top 250 Challenge

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The Secret In Their Eyes (2009) – IMDB Rank #156

Watched 23/3/13

This was so GOOD.

The 13th movie for my IMDB Top 250 Challenge, The Secret In Their Eyes, is from Argentina and won the best foreign film Oscar at the 82nd Academy Awards. Set in 2000 with a 1974 rape & murder case told in flashbacks, it shows the effects the case has had on those involved. It was directed by Juan José Campanella and stars Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Guillermo Francella, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Mariano Argento & José Luis Gioia.

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The movie starts with the main investigator, Benjamin Esposito, trying to write a novel about the 1974 rape & murder of a young woman – a case that still haunts him to this day in the year 2000. He pays a visit to an old friend, Irene, to tell her about his plans to write a novel about the case. Irene had just started working in Benjamin’s department in 1974 when the murder occurred and they had worked on the case together. Through flashbacks, we learn of the deep feelings Benjamin had for Irene. She knew it, he knew it, he never did anything about it. She married someone else and moved on. Through writing his novel about the case, he’s also forced to re-visit his feelings for Irene as well as re-live the case he’s never been able to fully leave behind him. Another important character is Benjamin’s assistant Pablo, an alcoholic but very good friend of Benjamin’s – I really enjoyed the Pablo character and their friendship.

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A main focus of the movie, as the title states, is that you can see the truth in someone’s eyes. The acting is great in this. You can see the love for Irene in Benjamin’s eyes although he never tells her. You can see the deep love and pain in the eyes of the husband of the young woman who is killed. You can see the evil in the eyes of others in the film…

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I really can’t discuss the plot any further without ruining it for anyone who hasn’t seen this. Ohhhh I so want to discuss this! Obviously it’s partly a murder mystery but there’s much more to it than that. I’ve discussed the Benjamin/Irene story, which is very good, but not discussed the murder case. THAT’S the part of the movie that I’ll never forget. But also the part I can’t discuss, unfortunately!

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The husband of the murdered woman is so good in this. You can see his pain. You can see the passion he had for her and the passion he has for justice to be served. I’m not giving too much away by saying that, I think a year after the case is closed, Benjamin sees the husband sitting in a train station and after talking to him discovers that the husband has a daily routine of sitting at different train stations hoping to one day see the man suspected of killing his wife. This leads to Benjamin getting the case re-opened.

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Great movie. Excellent performances. And I love how the movie’s theme of “passion” is played out at the end of the movie. WOW. Dammit… I can’t say any more! Just watch it. Watch it if you like a good murder mystery. Watch it if you like quality films with quality acting. Watch it if there’s something in life that you have a deep passion for. Just… watch it. 🙂

My Rating: 8/10

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SPOILER – Don’t read the next bit unless you’ve already seen the movie…. Okay? Promise?? Stop right here if you haven’t seen it!

I can’t help it – I just have to say it. That ENDING! Loved it loved it loved it. I do think this is a great movie overall but did think it dragged a few times and did find a few things unbelievable. But I’m SUCH a sucker for an awesome ending. I don’t know how believable or possible that ending is but I still loved it. I’ve had to go back & add this movie to my post of my Top Ten Movie Endings. Without that ending, I wouldn’t be raving QUITE so much about the whole thing. Great movie but even greater ending. 🙂

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19 thoughts on “The Secret In Their Eyes (2009) Review – IMDB Top 250 Challenge

    • Definitely check it out. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂 To be honest, it probably deserves even more praise than I gave it. I never really go for movies about murder – I find them too disturbing. But this really was SO good. Let me know what you think if you see it!

    • Thanks. 🙂 And thanks for reminding me just how good that scene was. I know NOTHING whatsoever about filmmaking but that camera move down into the stadium seemed pretty impressive to me! But then my mind shut down a little as an automatic reaction, I think, to football being on my TV screen in any sort of way… 😉

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