Review: The Secret in Their Eyes DVD

STUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Juan José Campanella | CAST: Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Guillermo Francella
9/21/2010 | PRICE: DVD $28.95, Blu-ray $38.96
BONUSES: commentary, two featurettes
SPECS: R | 129 min. | Foreign-language thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS HD Master Audio | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

When the Argentine film The Secret in Their Eyes, by Juan José Campanella, scored an upset win for the Best Foreign Language film Oscar this year, I took it personally as I was pulling for Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon. (Full disclosure: I’m a big Haneke fan — overlooking, of course, that Funny Games debacle with Michael Pitt.) Then I saw The Secret in their Eyes and, well, I can see Oscar’s point.

Of course, it’s diamonds and rubies, or rather Teutonic and Hispanic. Haneke’s movie is a journey into the cold heart of repression, while Campanella’s political thriller is overly emotional, filled with shocks, violence and a grandly operatic twist. “A man can change anything except his obsession,” says one character, and the movie is about obsession.

A retired criminal investigator (Ricardo Darin) writes a novel, trying to come to terms with a 25-year-old rape and murder: a tale of wrongful accusations and justice corrupted by the Neo-Fascism of 1980s Argentina. His novel reunites him with a beautiful and brilliant judge (Soledad Villamil), a daughter of the oligarchy (her status confirmed by her American Ivy League education). Their relationship is one of his great “What if’s?”

Maybe Oscar’s best point is the movie’s affirmative ending. Time warps and decays, but it also clarifies the essentials. And seeing an everyman of a certain age get a shot at love… Okay, Oscar, we get it.

The Academy has to make a choice, but we don’t. The Secret in Their Eyes and The White Ribbon are both terrific and totally different. So is the more conventional prison drama A Prophet, which was also nominated. And that one also features a hot young star in a nude shower scene. So, enjoy.


Buy or Rent The Secret in Their Eyes
Amazon graphic
DVD | Blu-ray |
Instant Video
DVD Empire graphicDVD | Blu-ray Movies Unlimited graphicDVD | Blu-ray Netflix graphic

About David

David Leopold is an actor, writer and videographer who would take a Sherpa ride up a Tibetan mountain to see an Edwige Feuillère movie.