“For the most part, I try to be as oblivious to advertising as possible. However, there are some publicity tactics I am an absolute sucker for. One of those is telling just enough of a plot to make me NEED to know what happens. Don’t worry, I’ve gotten past that phase with Clickbait headlines, but the right movie trailer or interview will get me. Such was the case when Julia Roberts was on Jimmy Kimmel the other day, and stated that she didn’t really know how to promote her new film, The Secret in Their Eyes, without giving anything away. Color me intrigued.
Well I suppose the trailer does give away a bit more info, so I’ll only take the plot as far as it does, maybe less so. Thirteen years after a murderer walked free after killing the daughter of an investigator, a former teammate of said investigator finds new evidence that puts them back on the case. Julia Roberts is said investigator, Chiewetel Ejiofor the teammate, with Nicole Kidman rounding out the central team in question. Alfred Molina and Dean Norris are also around. Oh and also, this is a remake of a previous Oscar winner for Foreign Film, coming out of Argentina a few years back.
Initially, I’d planned to say that I found the film very uncomfortable, but that’s not quite the right word. I think unsettling is more appropriate. It was incredibly incredibly unsettling. I do love me some dark storylines, but something about this one really got me. I just never felt at east with anything that was going on, and I constantly had a nagging feeling that something bad was going to happen to me personally some time soon.
That’s not to say I didn’t like the film. It was absolutely absorbing, and the mystery of it was intoxicating. I liked how the two timelines played out in parallel, and I relished every twist and turn we took.
Oh and Julia Roberts? One of her absolute best performances, if only because it’s so against type for her. Yes, we’re used to her being a strong independent woman (check that box off here), but she’s typically full of joy and light. This time, she’s a completely broken woman feeding off her despair and desperation. Such a stark contrast between where she starts the film and the flash forward (oh I shouldn’t use that phrase, lest I cause any shudders among fans of Lost), or even within a single timeline. Word on the street (by which I mean IMDB trivia, of course) is that Roberts and Kidman had such a deep mutual admiration and respect for each other, that the two really stepped up their games. Yes two strong female characters, hooray! Now that they’ve done serious, can we see these newly established friends take on something lighter, go the kinda Amy Poehler/Tina Fey route?
As fall drearily seeps into winter, this is good counter programming to the excess of holiday cheer that abounds. Just be sure that you’re up for it, cause this movie’ll really stay with you.
The Secret in Their Eyes – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”