Film: The Secret in Their Eyes

The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos) is a 2009 Argentine film directed by Juan Josť Campanella. Benjamin Esposito, a federal justice agent, becomes entranced by a rape-murder case in Buenos Aires, and tries to solve it even after case is closed, with help from his alcoholic coworker Sandoval, his new boss Irene, and Ricardo, the victim's husband.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, beating out The White Ribbon from Germany, A Prophet from France, Ajami from Israel and The Milk of Sorrow from Peru.

An English-language remake written and directed by Billy Ray is set for release in 2015, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts.

This film provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Sandoval.
  • Almost Kiss: Esposito and Hastings almost kiss when they part at the train station, but Esposito hesitates, and they only touch faces.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Averted in Liliana's case: see Your Cheating Heart.
  • Biggus Dickus: The rapist proves to have one.
  • Blood Knight: He may not look the part, but Pablo makes it clear that bar brawls are a passion of his.
  • Brick Joke: The typewriter.
  • Cowboy Cop: Esposito is a deconstruction: his insubordination to the dictatorship forces him to flee the city as a marked man, leaving the love of his life behind.
  • The Determinator: Esposito is not likely to let the case go. Nor is Ricardo, naturally.
  • Fan Disservice: There are two instances of nudity in the film. One is of a woman being raped, and is later seen dead, bloodied and bruised. The second is the rapist showing off his penis, finally confessing.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Invoked by Morales. Morales manages himself to kidnap and lock Gomez up for twenty-five years, not even speaking to him and evidently making him Go Mad from the Isolation.
  • Good Old Ways: Esposito prefers to use a typewriter (and even manually) as opposed to a word processor. In fact, no computers are seen in the movie.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pablo, according Benjamin's speculation.
  • Jerkass: The kindest coherent way of describing Gomez and Romano.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Benjamin and Pablo.
  • Karma Houdini: Romano.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Gomez shows his penis to Hastings to demonstrate his masculinity.
  • Mood Whiplash: Benjamin is engaging in some amusing banter before walking into the murder scene, with no transitionary shot.
  • Precision F-Strike: The characters swear a lot, albeit in Spanish.
  • Psycho for Hire: Gomez.
  • Rape as Drama: Starts off the film, and haunts the victim's husband for years.
  • Smug Snake: Romano.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Gomez.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Benjamin and Irene.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Irene.
  • The Oner: A truly impressive one that starts high in the air, shot from a helicopter approaching a soccer stadium where a game is being played, pans over the players and zooms in on the crowd where Esposito and Sandoval are trying to find the suspect which they do right as a goal is converted and the crowd goes mad, causing them to lose him which in turns gives place to a chase scene through the inside of the stadium, up and down several levels of passages and staircases, inside a bathroom and back out, and eventually back out onto the playing field, where the suspect is finally captured. The whole scene lasts over five minutes.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Gomez in regards to Pablo in the stadium scene.
  • Undying Loyalty: Ricardo to his late wife - poignantly enough to motivate Benjamin to take un this seemingly impossible case.
  • Vigilante Man: Ricardo tries to do this by calling a suspect's mother, which ends up causing the suspect to flee. Later, once the killer is caught and subsequently released, he tries a much more direct approach, successfully.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Benjamin and Pablo.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Benjamin is avowedly so. And then there was Liliana.

Alternative Title(s):

The Secret In Their Eyes