Say what you will, but the lead actors in Argentine director Juan Jose Campanella's latest film do have lovely (or at least handsomely shot) peepers. But the secrets you ultimately find therein are hilarious. Feeling like he's missed out on life, retired court investigator Esposito (Ricardo Darin) visits his foxy former superior with an idea for a book about a woman's rape-murderï¿½not the funny partï¿½during the dictatorship-shadowed 1970s. Flash back to his unsanctioned investigation of the killingï¿½and to sexual tensions with said boss (Soledad Villamil), not uninterested but spoken for. The upshot, amid picturesque hand-wringing about the past: The murder victim's devoted widower inspires Espositoï¿½s profound regrets over not having the affair. Campanella, who overconfidently takes his time, outfits the film with ludicrous interrogation scenes, a drunken colleague who provides comic relief and redemptive tragedy, and a climactic flood of memories that plays like a trailer. But it's the big revealï¿½a secret burden, naturally, to end all secret burdensï¿½that ends the movie with Oscar-winning ridiculousness.
July 9-22, 2010