One of our favorite films, Argentina’s The Secret in Their Eyes, is the latest film to get an American facelift. This story starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman, will be coming to theaters this fall.
Winner of the 2009 Best Foreign-Language Oscar, this brilliant and multi-layered story was an instant classic as soon as the lights came up in theaters back in 2009. The latest version follows a tight-knit team of rising FBI investigators – Ray (Ejiofor) and Jess (Roberts), along with their District Attorney supervisor Claire (Kidman) – is suddenly torn apart when they discover that Jess’s teenage daughter has been brutally and inexplicably murdered.
Now, thirteen years later, after obsessively searching every day for the elusive killer, Ray finally uncovers a new lead that he’s certain can permanently resolve the case, nail the vicious murderer, and bring long-desired closure to his team. No one is prepared, however, for the shocking, unspeakable secret that will reveal the enduring, destructive effects of personal vengeance on the human soul.
Interweaving past and present, this deeply layered mystery explores the murky boundaries between justice and revenge, and asks the question: how far would you go to right an unfathomable wrong?
This is not the first time that a recent superb foreign-language favorite has been remade for American audiences. We had this debate several years ago when David Fincher attempted to bring The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to American multiplexes. Our initial thought was that there was a certain complexity and storytelling that couldn’t be captured in the American remake – and we were correct.
My sense is that history will repeat itself with this film, which hinges again on themes that are complex and don’t require the talents of Hollywood A-listers to pull off. Maybe, this new version can get close to the original or maybe it’s just another in a long line of attempted updates that wastes studio money and audience interest when the current stories are strong enough to stand on their own.
Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games), and produced by Academy Award® winner Mark Johnson (Rain Man, Breaking Bad), The Secret In Their Eyes is an intense, powerful, haunting thriller starring Academy Award® nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Academy Award® winners Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts.
The original version of The Secret in Their Eyes (Spanish: El secreto de sus ojos) was an Argentine crime thriller film directed, produced and edited by Juan José Campanella and written by Eduardo Sacheri and Campanella, based on Sacheri’s novel La pregunta de sus ojos (The Question in Their Eyes), which starred Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil.
The story unearths the buried romance between a retired judiciary employee and a judge who worked together a quarter century ago. They recount their efforts on an unsolved 1974 rape and murder that is an obsession not only for them, but for the victim’s husband and the killer. The double setting frames the period of Argentina’s Dirty War (1976–1983), a violent time when criminality often went unpunished
Check out the trailer for the highly-recommended original version of this classic, below: