Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Distributor: Sony Classics
Release Date: April 16, 2010
Genre: Crime Drama
Running Time: 127 minutes
MPAA Rating: R

I’ve often wondered what I would do if I end up single and retired. If you’re retired criminal investigator Benjamín Esposito (Ricardo Darín), you go back and revisit a brutal rape and murder from 25 years ago and write a book about it.

The story takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an area I know little about but my friend Jeff Richardson has been there. Anyway, the crime was “solved” back when it happened, but Esposito was never happy with the resolution. The dead woman’s husband, banker Ricardo Morales (Pablo Rago) has so much love for his deceased wife Liliana Coloto (Carla Quevedo), that it breaks Esposito’s heart. It haunts him.

In his quest to find the truth, Esposito is joined by his alcoholic colleague Pablo Sandoval, played by Guillermo Francella, a noted Argentine comic who effectively uses his comedic skills to enhance an enormously dramatic film. Of course there’s also a woman involved, Esposito’s boss Irene Menéndez-Hastings (Soledad Villamil). It is obvious in the interactions between them that both have things to say to each other but won’t say them out loud. The performances rely not only on the words they say but the words they don’t say, the secrets they keep behind their eyes.

Directed by Juan José Campanella (who has directed episodes of “30 Rock,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “House”), “Secret” deftly weaves back and forth between 1974 and 2009 for a tale that is tacitly engaging and thoroughly fascinating. It explores themes of love, loss, revenge, justice, closure – and it does it in ways you wouldn’t expect. It effectively builds suspense without calling attention to itself. The subtlety is the beauty of it.

“Secret” surprisingly won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film last year over the more well known “The White Ribbon” and “A Prophet (Un prophète),” and while I was initially skeptical I can see what drew voters to it (I still would have voted for “Prophet” though). This is a film that wriggles its way under your skin and stays there for weeks afterward.

Theater: Capri Theater, Montgomery, Alabama
Time: 730 pm
Date: June 30, 2010

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