Right about now, I'm supposed to be sitting in the New Beverly getting my movie watch on for the fantastic Brian De Palma thriller Blowout starring John Travolta as a sound man who inadvertently records an assassination. But, on Day 33, somewhere between a seventh wind and an eigth sense of windedness, I opted for the lazier route and caught a daytime screening of The Secret in Their Eyes.
This shouldn't be confused with 2007's awesome Best Foreign Film Oscar winner The Lives of Others, which for some reason I always mistakenly remember as The Secret Lives of Others (similar to my mind recalling She's Out of My League as She's Just Not That Into You...although that is sorta the same).
Anyways, The Secret in Their Eyes is actually 2010's Best Foreign Film Oscar winner, and as it turns out, a worthy one. When the Academy Award winners were announced earlier this year, I remember being particularly pained that France's A Prophet - the grunge generation's The Godfather and one of my recent favorites - didn't score a victory.
Now that I've seen The Secret, I understand the hoopla. This is an epic piece of filmmaking. It's supposedly about an Argentinian policeman trying to solve a brutal murder/rape mystery, but it's just as concerned about weighty issues of passion, obsession and the inability to let go of our memories.
It's an indie arthouse film, but you'll grow to love these characters as much as you would Han Solo, Chewbacca or Princess Leia. There is the cop Esposito (Ricardo Darin) who pines for a resolution to his case and his own unrequited love of beautiful, whip smart lawyer Irene (Soledad Villamil). And there is his alcoholic sidekick partner Pablo Sanchez (Guillermo Francella) - a loveable, entertaining foil whose drunken antics never get in the way of some well-dispensed advice about the case and his friend's inner dilemmas.
I'll leave the rest up to you discerning movie buffs to discover. There are twists in this affecting movie worthy of The Usual Suspects but with bittersweet resonance. Along with Exit Through the Gift Shop and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it's one more indie surprise that makes my list for best films of the summer and year.