Heading into this year’s Oscar telecast, no one could be sure which movie would walk away with Best Foreign Language Film honors. It was a tossup between France’s A Prophet and Germany’s The White Ribbon. Then The Secret in Their Eyes won, becoming only the second Latin American film to do so in the award’s 62-year history.
Warner Bros. is now spearheading an English-language remake of the Argentine film, with Billy Ray (Breach) writing and directing. Hit the jump to hear Ray explain his approach to the material, in which he cites the work of Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain) and Alan Pakula (All the President’s Men).
Ray told Risky Business:
“I want to try to make the movie that Anthony Minghella would have made from this material. Or Alan Pakula. I know that’s setting the bar high, but it’s the only reason to take something like this on. I am beyond excited about it, feeling truly privileged that a studio would take a shot on this kind of material.”
The material in question is a murder mystery which revolves around a retired criminal investigator who is haunted by a decades-old unsolved rape and murder.
Neither the Foreign Language Oscar nor a Hollywood adaptation should be considered anything beyond the most arbitrary of artistic validations. But by all accounts, The Secret in Their Eyes is very good. Good enough that it probably doesn’t need a remake. However, the project, if it must exist, is in good hands: Ray is one of the smarter minds working in today’s bread-and-butter cinema.
Here’s the synopsis for the original Juan José Campanella-directed film, which is based on a novel by Eduardo Sacheri:
The Secret in Their Eyes stars Ricardo Darín as Benjamin, a policeman who gets pulled into investigating a decades-old crime, and becomes drawn in, almost against his will, as layers of information about the missing (murdered?) girl slowly come to light. As Benjamin investigates, he runs into a woman for whom he has long carried a torch, Irene (Soledad Villamil), an ambitious judge who had also at one point been involved in adjudicating the old crime. The chemistry between Benjamin and Irene is part of the “secret in their eyes,” as the pull between the old colleagues becomes palpable.