The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina 2009) – Juan José Campanella

the Secret in their Eyes

There is no other movie I recommend more to people than The Secret in Their Eyes (2009). Not to be confused with the abysmal Hollywood rehash starring Julia Roberts, this Argentinian Oscar award Best Foreign Language Film is my favourite Latin movie and currently sits at No 12 on my all time favourite list. If I was compelled to attach a genre to it – it would be crime / suspense, but it contains a whole lot. There are few other movies I have seen which has as much romantic chemistry between its two leads than Secret. The connection between them is electric. It also has extremely funny dialogue and the acting by all ensemble is impeccable. The music score is breathtaking and cinematography is spectacular.

There is also no other movie which comes to mind which has a more impactful twist than Secret. I can’t think of another movie that possesses everything great about cinema in one package. If this movie had been done by Hollywood originally and its output attaining the same level of excellence as this Argentine movie, I am in no doubt it would be regarded in the western world as one of the greatest movies of all time.

Wikipedia (Paraphrased): The Secret in Their Eyes (Spanish: El secreto de sus ojos) is based on the novel La pregunta de sus ojos (The Question in Their Eyes) by Eduardo Sacheri, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Using a nonlinear narrative, the film depicts a judiciary employee and his boss, a law clerk, in 1974, played by Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil, as they investigate a rape and murder case, while also following the characters 25 years later reminiscing over the case and unearthing the buried romance between them. At the time of its release, it became the second highest-grossing film in Argentine history, surpassed only by 1975’s Nazareno Cruz and the Wolf. In a 2016 poll of international critics for the BBC’s 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century this was voted one of the 100 greatest motion pictures since 2000.

Football stadium secretoIt’s worth mentioning that Secret has one of the greatest single-shot tracking scenes in film history which has to be seen to be believed. It’s continuous 5 minute shot was filmed in the stadium of football club Huracán. It’s a sequence of such heart-stopping bravura, and worth the price of admission alone. It took three months of pre-production, three days of shooting and nine months of post-production. Two hundred extras took part in the shooting, and visual effects created a fully packed stadium with nearly fifty thousand fans.

I prefer not to get specific about what happens. If there’s any justice, a lot of people will end up knowing about it having seen it. No other movie maintained my attention as much as this movie on first viewing, and very few other movies feel and look as good when you see them again. The story line, the direction, the acting, editing, background music etc. simply sublime. It’s technically flawless as far as I can tell. Do yourself a big favour and see this movie if you haven’t.

Interesting movie trivia from IMDB Trivia:

  • In 2010 it became the second Argentine film to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The previous one was The Official Story (1985).
  • As of June 2010, this is the first Argentinian movie to reach the IMDb Top 250.
  • This is the second movie directed by Juan José Campanella to receive an Oscar nomination. The first one was Son of the Bride (2001).
  • The soccer team seen scoring a goal in the stadium scene is called Racing Club. Guillermo Francella, who plays Pablo Sandoval in the movie, is a huge fan of theirs. Director Juan José Campanella is also a fan of Racing. Eduardo Sacheri, one of the writers and author of the novel on which this movie is based, prefers their rivals, Independiente.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Movies and TV
7 comments on “The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina 2009) – Juan José Campanella
  1. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Just reading the review’s making me want to hop in the car in the middle of the night and run to a Redbox and get a copy of this movie, like, right now.
    I might even get hubby interested (he’s not into dramas, as a general rule) by dangling the carrot of the longest tracking shot in film history. He loves the technical side of how movies are made and techniques that are used.
    But I’m intrigued, in this story, by everything else you mention.

    • I hope you get round to seeing it. You won’t regret it. It’s a crime – suspense thriller of sorts so I doubt your husband will be bored. I’m so glad you were intrigued by the review. I know I went overboard on the superlatives, but I didn’t have any option since I adore it so much.

  2. selizabryangmailcom says:

    The superlatives are exciting. It’s all good!

    The longest tracking shot ever reminds me of a scene in Kingsman when Colin Firth (possessed, in a fugue state) kills a ton of people in a church in one continuous shot. And he was in his early 50s at the time! He said he was so sore and exhausted after he couldn’t move. But the choreography was fantastic and he was GREAT!

  3. You have me curious with this one. Thanks.I will give it a go.

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