The Unknown Woman (2006)
"La sconosciuta" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  20 October 2006 (Italy)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 8,568 users   Metascore: 56/100
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Haunted by a horrible past, a Ukrainian young woman calculatedly insinuates herself into the life of a rich Italian family.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Irena (as Ksenia Rappoport)
Valeria Adacher
Alessandro Haber ...
Clara Dossena ...
Tea Adacher
Lucrezia (as Angela Molina)
Irena's lawyer
Donato Adacher
Irena's lover
Paolo Elmo ...
Simona Nobili ...
Elisa Morucci ...


A Ukrainian woman named Irena calculatedly insinuates herself into the lives of a young, affluent Italian family. Stopping at nothing to become the couple's trusted maid and the beloved nanny to their fragile young daughter, Irena risks everything in her quest to uncover the truth about the family. Like an intricately constructed jigsaw puzzle, The Unknown Woman reveals piece by piece the enigma of Irena's past. Written by Outsider Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

italian | nanny | maid | daughter | torture | See All (84) »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violent content involving rape and torture, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

20 October 2006 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Unknown Woman  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,569 (USA) (4 April 2008)


$18,569 (USA) (4 April 2008)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Russian actress Kseniya Rappoport didn't speak Italian when she was cast in the leading role. She gradually learned the language in the few months of shooting. See more »


References Oliver Twist (2005) See more »


Ninna nanna
Written by Ennio Morricone
Performed by Kseniya Rappoport
See more »

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User Reviews

Tornatore did it again
18 July 2007 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

After a long time, a new Tornatore film. After the second viewing I decided to write a comment about it.

When people talk about a film by Giuseppe Tornatore, they think of Sicily first with it's burning sun and it's orange villages. This is one of his darker films, if not his darkest (on par with Il Camorrista).

As sound as the first fade in of this film appeared, I was hooked. I will not spoil anything, but you'll see some pretty powerful stuff. The story is complicated and important, so giving examples might spoil something, so I focus on the experience of this film itself.

I have never seen most of the actors in this (except Placido), but they all did an amazing job. Kseniya Rappoport is so great in this film that it's just haunting. Her performance is a winner without doubt, but the supportive cast never seems shy to make their emotions as real as they can.

The shots that this film uses are great. All Tornatore films are beautiful, but this one is a real dark gem. As him and few other can do, he makes the world real.

The script is strong. I cannot just define it as a drama, because that is a vague term. It's also a disturbing film with a warm touch (a heartbreaking plot that twists in a good way).

Ennio Morricone wrote the score. I am a great fan of him and I must say that even now, being 77, he is still the top composer in the entire industry. With his score for La Sconosciuta he surprised me. Again. This man is so amazing that I curse the Academy awards every day for ignoring him for more than 40 years.

So is there nothing bad about La Sconosciuta? Yes there is; the DVD is only available in Italy. I bought one with English subtitles so I have little problem watching it, but this can be quite a damper on it's international fame. I hope this one gets a great international release, both in cinema and on DVD. Great pieces of art should not be kept indoors.

I give it 10 out of 10. The best of 2006 and perfect in every way.

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