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Drama Movies

December 21 2015 Drama Movies Newsletter

"Anything indirect is stronger, in many cases at least, because you leave it or hand it over to the imagination of your audience. I have always been trusting my audience to have imagination. Otherwise they should stay out of the cinema. You have to leave something open. The moment you start preaching in a film, the moment you want to teach your audience, you're making a bad film." Director Douglas Sirk (1897-1987)

"The Secret in Their Eyes" (2009), which I reviewed this week, is a film that allows the audience to make its own judgement regarding issues of justice, torture, and punishment. The ending, which leaves something unresolved, I found upsetting. So I did what Douglas Sirk relied on his audience to do, I made up my own story line. In doing so, I determined the ultimate fate of the characters.

The film is set in Argentina, which has a different legal system than the US. Judges have investigative powers, and are allowed to follow their own leads and file charges. "The Secret in Their Eyes" is a serious drama, but not relentlessly so. The comic relief is supplied by the character Pablo Sandoval, who is a legal investigator. When he cannot be bothered with annoying phone calls, he picks up and says things like, "Tactical Revolutionary Command. May I help you?" He also may greet a caller with the line, "Sperm Bank, loan department. Good morning." Guillermo Francella, the actor who plays Sandoval, said that he loved playing this character. It is easy to see why, and Francella steals nearly every scene he is in. It is one of the strong points of the film that even the supporting characters are well-developed and memorable.

The new "Star Wars" film has shattered all box-office records, as expected. Part of the success of the franchise is due to the iconic music of composer John Williams. In October, the American Film Institute announced its 44th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award would go to Williams. He is the first film composer to be honored in this way. Williams won an Oscar for the original "Star Wars" score in 1977. He has also been collaborating with director Steven Spielberg for 41 years, and has scored nearly every Spielberg film. The awards ceremony takes place on June 9th, 2016 and Turner Broadcasting will be televising the event.

The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) Film Review
Benjamin Esposito, retired criminal investigator, decides to write a book about a murder case that has haunted him for twenty-five years. Will re-examining the facts provide new answers, or simply open old wounds? This film is the basis for the 2015 remake with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Julia Roberts.


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Have a joyous and peaceful holiday season!

Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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