In his eyes , winner of this year’s Oscar for best foreign language film, certainly not only belies the reputation of meticulous sagacity of the current Argentine cinema. It is surprising indeed that Juan Jose Campanella, born in Argentina, trained in the United States (University of New York along with Cedric Klapisch), nationalized Spanish, either, despite its formal precision and scenarios as powerful, well-maintained, as little known in France – it is already the author of a half-dozen feature films (made with alternating episodes of U.S. series to success, including the famous House) which earned him a nice number awards, including El mismo amor, the misma lluvia (1999), El Hijo de la Novia, Oscar-nominated in 2002, and Luna avellenada (2004). What is interesting in this Oscar-here is that not content to escape the White Ribbon Haneke and Prophet by Jacques Audiard, he distinguishes a work deeply rooted in the genre film (and genre literature, the film was adapted by writer Eduardo Sacheri’s thriller of the same name, his first novel after several new football), which earned her eyes In the Grand Prix Festival of Beaune International Thriller Film last month. The hero Benjamin Espósito (Ricardo Darín, accustomed Campanella), a former official with a judge in Buenos Aires named Irene (Soledad Villamil), there began, in fact, helped by it, to enjoy his retirement to write a novel about a murder case that occurred twenty-five years earlier, in 1974, and again seized with both hands, the audience at his side, the thread of the investigation.
It is also necessary, before beginning to unfold, to find the end. After a first stage in fuzzy dream where still flashes as the parting of two lovers on a train platform, the eye of the camera settles on the different opening paragraphs Esposito began just before the crease page and start over. Undecided despite the notes he applies to take the middle of the night as an exercise of automatic writing, he returned to see Irene after years away from the capital and asked about the start to give his story.
Perhaps helped by its board to close their eyes and start with the first images that arise, it plunges from the moment in the events of 1974 and, after this incipit Nostalgico spéculatifplus-singular for a thriller that, between bungalow into a world halfway between the Italian crime film of the 1970s (especially in its truculent judicial conversations of employees where colorful reappear, obvious ritales the origins of much of the Argentine population ) and The Three Days of the Condor (which claims to Campanella), especially since the action takes place two years before the military coup, under a government Perón presented here as the antechamber of the dictatorship. The director does not hesitate to tap into the codes of the genre, including comedy its resources – the scene where his hilarious Espósito and faithful companion Sandoval soûlographe notorious, are scolded by their chief for their lack of discretion in the investigation for example, is deliciously funny. The film also follows the work of hermeneutics investigators who scrutinize to till their eyes the few clues available to them, as if – if antonionien theme is also found in Argento, including The Cat nine tails – the truth lies elsewhere was here in these photos (which are superimposed in the before and after the horrible murder) and in these notes written by him as his gaze eventually betray.
However, after some twists police – summary arrests, guilty finding in a crowded stadium (football, of course) and chase scene – the culprit is identified, the film widens its perspective and changes register, giving way to a criticism of the judiciary (which peaks when the murderer exempted from punishment appears on television alongside Evita Peron) coupled with a dangerous tale of revenge unsatisfied. The significant scene where investigators share behind the closed door of an elevator when a heinous forced overcrowding with the guilty, who has just been released by the game system corruption, paradoxically refers to a door that can not be closed , a hopelessly unfinished chapter, an unbearable wait.
In fact, the same way that the hero is hardly the beginning of its history, the film fumbles towards its conclusion – the pace abates, suffered some hiccups, and the tone is tinged with melodrama while we wonder what Nature is the required resolution. The process is, however, the weakness and strength of the film is that pulling the thread of the investigation, it was all a place where Hank stands now clearly the reason for love. The character of Irene, initially discreet, returns to the center of the story as to clarify the contours of the idyll that Esposito and she had never lived, the letting go like a train that eventually separated . As past and present merge (giving the impression of a “Time Regained” where we look back on young faces in finding the aged), two plots now appear, cleverly superimposed by an author who responds to the inequity of the system it stigmatizes a perfect balance narrative (that Campanella wanted to restore from the novel, where the police element predominated) and continuity thoroughly reflected in the smallest details – recurrence of objects linking the two son conductors, such as photos and the old Olivetti typewriter, with its A missing, is quite tasty. Besides, as one notices Espósito, the dark tale of murder at the revelation of love, there is a letter.
It will be understood that in his eyes goes far beyond the term of genre film. The symmetrical organization of the narrative, his dialogues very well composed, the perfect arrangement of the underlying themes (carefully highlighted by a camera accessory) and the ease with which the film combines the genres reveal a writer-director who leaves nothing to chance and clearly the writing process to heart. With its slightly too early when the Proustian hero wonders how to become a writer and his taste for the paper, the paperwork that piles up and other photographic material, the film explores indeed the act of narration and the parallel between narrative and truth. Indeed, the whole movie works as a midwifery – we see gradually what our lone hero tries to solve the twilight of a lifetime are primarily his own feelings, always explicitly latent (and a counterpart to the waiting for ever Irene) but suddenly revealed, suddenly very important, when the blur of the first stage are explained.
At the same time, without contradiction, that truth that emerges seems tinged with a necessary subjectivity. Here, as is clearly the writing tips of Irene (“blind eye”; “tells what you remember”) and especially the scene where after solemnly explained you need to know to adopt other points views, Sandoval decrypts, using his friends barflies, the “code” used by the infamous footballing guilty in his letters, it’s all about the look, including the truth of things. Even the “memory of a memory” here has its legitimacy.
So when, rejected by the victim, twenty-five years after the fact, under the pretext that after all this whole story is “his” life, Espósito replies that this is also his, merely to state this sentence sufficient to establish an essential truth that brings together under one key to understanding both intrigues and enlightens the whole story. This assertion stands out as an act of liberating speech he repeats like a mantra, but by establishing that, in short, his life is what he decides, it also reveals that if all is perhaps a matter of respect, it is precisely not to be the eternal spectator. Thus, for an effective sleight of hand end, the work of the investigation by the frenzied observation leads its protagonist to realize that this is actually taking part in the action he can close the door remained gaping, Campanella offering an impeccable conclusion to a story carried out smoothly.