Reviewed by Michael Dalton
It’s hard to know exactly what Billy Ray and Angelina Jolie Pitt, the directors of Secret in Their Eyes and By The Sea respectively, were thinking as they planned to shove their unnecessary sagas into production. Both in their own way indulgent and egotistical, neither has much point other than for us to see how the featured stars are looking these days. On that score, Mrs. Pitt’s is the clear winner. Silk filters, designer couture, and stunning locations (Gozo Island in Malta can look forward to a sold-out tourist season) mask the tissue thin story of a husband and wife who have lost their way; it is impossible to look past their headline-making relationship and it conflicts horribly in the scenes that demand tension and fury. Secret in Their Eyes, little more than a pointless remake of one of the finest Oscar winners of the century and one of the best thrillers in many a year, is driven not by a story (originally intricate, subtle, and embellished with superb performances) but by the chance to see Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts briedly face off while Chiwetel Ejiofor stands dazed in between. Told in two separate time zones (we easily work out which zone it is by the colour of Ejiofor’s hair), it flounders helplessly, hopelessly, and randomly.