It’s not often that one can give a film two-thumbs-and one-whole-heart-up, but I can with this one (four-chamber, wholeheartedly). The film is El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes), winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign film. Link to IMDB page here.
The strengths and vagaries of human passion, memory, and nagging yet persistent intuition form the core of the story. Rarely does a film capture so well the “it’s complicated” aspect of the human heart. You needn’t clutch your hanky for the entire ride—there are some great laughs along the way. Do have your hankie at the ready at the conclusion of the film (or tell me why you didn’t need it).
Don’t—I repeat, don’t—miss the tracking shot that begins in the air above the soccer stadium.
El secreto de sus ojos was directed by Juan Jose Campanella (IMDB page here). He also directed the Season 6, Episode 19 episode of the television show House, which premieres tonight (3 May 2010). A portion of the episode was filmed at Pasadena’s own Church of the Angels (Petrea’s photos of the church here). The church should be quite recognizable in the first few minutes of the show.
I acted as Church of the Angels site rep on the House shoot, and I met Mr. Campanella. I was not familiar with this film (or his others) at the time I met him. Had I been, I would have gushed my appreciation (embarrassed and embarrassing fussing and gushing, I’m sure). Instead, we shook hands, our eyes met, and I had the sense I was meeting A Good Guy.
More on El secreto de sus ojos below:
LA Times review by Betsey Sharkey.
Review by Peter Canavese from Palo Alto Online.
A divergent opinion from The Village Voice, which calls the film “ridiculous.”
(Man, am I ever rusty. Took gadgillion hours to do this post, and not because of the links. Can’t get photos out of my phone due to its CDMA/GSM duality—according to Verizon tech support anyway—“Junior” at Verizon blamed the SIM card. So I sent the photo (above) from my phone to The Scout’s phone, then had to sign onto his Verizon account (resetting the password in the process of course because I couldn’t find the Post-It with the relevant info even though it was right here by the keyboard 3 months ago). Then I didn’t want to sound like a film reviewer (but how could I? I’m not one anyway) – and then I felt them. I felt the cliches creeping up. And they do, they do – those cliches rattle around in my head like Marley’s chains. Still, I didn’t want to do the blogger’s statement of repose: “Insert superlatives about film here.” Then I discover an interview with the director, so I have to listen to that. Then the phone rings, so I never finish the interview. Then I check in with Facebook (thus applying the Hoover directly to the clock). Now, really, Really, REally I must get on with this day!)