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: Ejiofor plays a former assistant district attorney who returns to L.A. on a joint task force with the FBI, still obsessed by the unsolved murder that continues to haunt him. As he inches closer to solving the crime, he uncovers a shocking truth that will shed a terrifying new light on past events. The roles that Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman are playing haven’t been made public yet, but, based on these photos, it would appear that the part about him unearthing a romance with his superior, may still be in play, with Kidman playing that part. I did find one mention of Roberts playing his former partner and friend whose daughter is murdered – the crime that he is haunted by and trying to solve – who’s helping him along on the case. His consoling her in the photos below, maybe supports that theory.
A Best Actor nomination for Ejiofor is possible. I should mention that he’s actually appearing in 3 movies this year that could also be in contention when the time comes: the ensemble heist thriller, “Triple Nine,” and the post-apocalyptic drama “Z for Zachariah.”