It’s a film that’s on my Oscar 2016 predictions list, as Chiwetel Ejiofor could see another Best Actor nomination for his performance in the American remake of the Argentine crime thriller, “The Secret in Their Eyes.”
It was a role that Denzel Washington was reportedly offered initially, but it eventually went to Ejiofor, who is surrounded by actresses also lauded for their past work – Nicole Kidman (nominated for Oscar thrice, won once) and Julia Roberts (nominated 4 times, also won once).
Billy Ray, known more for his writing of scripts for critically-acclaimed movies like “Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games,” “State of Play,” “Shattered Glass” and others, is directing the American remake of “The Secret in Their Eyes.” The original, a Best Screenplay winner and Best Picture nominee at the Argentine equivalent of the Oscars, as well as the American Oscars winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010, was directed by Juan José Campanella.
The original story (which was actually based on a novel by Argentine author Eduardo Sacheri, titled “The Question in Their Eyes”) unearths the buried romance between a retired judiciary employee and a judge who worked together a quarter century ago. They recount their efforts on an unsolved 1974 rape and murder that is an obsession not only for them, but for the victim’s husband and the killer.
The American remake will be set in the USA, of course, with a different take on the original story: A tight-knit team of rising FBI investigators – Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jess (Julia Roberts), along with their District Attorney supervisor Claire (Nicole Kidman) – is suddenly torn apart when they discover that Jess’s teenage daughter has been brutally and inexplicably murdered. Now, thirteen years later, after obsessively searching every day for the elusive killer, Ray finally uncovers a new lead that he’s certain can permanently resolve the case, nail the vicious murderer, and bring long-desired closure to his team. No one is prepared, however, for the shocking, unspeakable secret that will reveal the enduring, destructive effects of personal vengeance on the human soul. Interweaving past and present, this deeply layered mystery explores the murky boundaries between justice and revenge, and asks the question: how far would you go to right an unfathomable wrong?
A Best Actor or Supporting Actor nomination for Ejiofor is possible. I should mention that he’s actually appearing in 2 movies this year that could also be in contention when the time comes – the other 1 being: the post-apocalyptic drama “Z for Zachariah.”
The STX Entertainment production is set for an October 23 release.
Check out its first trailer below: