The Counterfeiters (Austria) won in 2008, Departures (Japan) triumphed in 2009, and in 2010 the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar went to this piece of crap from Argentina. It seems that as soon as they see subtitles, the Academy voters feel free to succumb to their worst instincts regarding kitsch, cliché, and cornball contrivance.
You know you’re in trouble when a character wants to write a novel; here it’s retired Buenos Aires court officer Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darín), who’s obsessed with an unresolved case of rape and murder from 1974, and haunted by the undying love of the victim’s husband, and the man’s quest for justice, and the court’s failure to find and punish the culprit. But could The Secret in Their Eyes also be about Benjamín’s own unresolved case, his love for court prosecutor Irene (Soledad Villamil)?
Given its clumsy flashback structure, its clanging platitudes, and its awful soundtrack, the Academy appeal of director Juan José Campanella’s bloated noir is no secret.