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Secret In Their Eyes (2015)

Secret In Their Eyes 2015 movie poster.jpg

Billy Ray adapted and directed this remake of the original Argentine film to a  mixed critical reception:  El Secreto de sus ojos was a melodrama whose scarce believability was given gravitas by a grafted-on political subplot because you can do that with films emanating from countries that operate as secret states/fascist juntas/totalitarian dictatorships and murder hundreds of thousands of their own citizens per annum for fun [can’t you just imagine what they were going to do to the British citizens on The Falklands?]. Los Angeles, not so much. So Ray substitutes the FBI, covering up for the murderer, Marzin (Joe Cole), of the teenaged daughter of rising star agent Jess (Julia Roberts) because he’s a useful informant watching a mosque and he’s dumped her body in a warehouse next door. Jess’ best friend Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) spends 13 years hunting him down when he resurfaces and he and Detective Dumpy Willis (Dean Norris) track his cosmetically enhanced self via his comic book art, Dodgers obsession and interest in racehorses. Meanwhile assistant DA Claire (Nicole Kidman) who’s now risen to the position of DA tries to advise on the side while Ray admires her, uselessly, and they realise that Jess is sitting on a secret … This works better than the original. Its setting renders it more plausible, the performances by a starry cast are (ironically) much less melodramatic and Roberts is especially good as the traumatised mother who just needs retribution. An underrated outing about guilt and missed opportunities, with good cinematography by Danny Moder who lights up LA.

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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