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

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 7,001 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 34 user | 65 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Irena (as Ksenia Rappoport)
...
Muffa
...
Valeria Adacher
...
Gina
Alessandro Haber ...
Matteo
Clara Dossena ...
Tea Adacher
...
Lucrezia (as Angela Molina)
...
Irena's lawyer
...
Donato Adacher
Nicola Di Pinto ...
Irena's lover
Paolo Elmo ...
Nello
Simona Nobili ...
Policewoman
Elisa Morucci ...
Waitress
...
Secretary
...
Magistrate
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Storyline

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 more »


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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 October 2006 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Unknown Woman  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$18,569 (USA) (4 April 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film received a small release in Los Angeles in late 2007 in order to qualify for the 80th Annual Academy Awards (it was eligible in all categories, including Best Foreign Language Film). However it didn't get a wide US release until the following year. See more »

Connections

References Oliver Twist (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Donna non vidi mai
from "Manon Lescaut"
Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica, Marco Praga and Domenico Oliva
Courtesy of Ricordi Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
La Sconosciuta
16 September 2007 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I did not know anything about the movie except that it was made by the director of Malena (a movie that I did not like that much except its images and story line). I had totally no expectations from this one and I sat wondering what is to come.

The story is about a Ukrainian girl Irina (Russian actress Kseniva Rappoport) who comes from a small village and has a lover who is a construction worker. Due to dreams of becoming rich and famous, she becomes a prostitute and is exploited by a pimp Muffa (Michele Placido), who kills the lover, sells off the newly born child of pregnant Irina and sadomizes & beats Irina in sex work. The movie is extremely mysterious with Irina's past unfolding with tits and bits of flashback while she works as a house maid for a small family – Valeria (Claudia Gerini), her husband Donato (Pierfrancesco Favino) and their daughter Tea (Clara Dossena) - in an Italian city. I won't tell you the whole story here and spoil the great viewing.

Famous Italian Director Giuseppe Tornatore directs this movie after six years of gap and comes out with a winner. The movie has its thrills, drama and emotions that keep the audience on the edge of the seat. There are some disturbing violent and sexual content in the movie.

Kseniva is so beautiful and acts brilliantly throughout – displaying the range of emotions that a few actresses get to enact in their entire career. Michele Placido as Muffa is scary and real mean. The stealer performance is by Clara as a 5 year old daughter who acts naturally. Claudi and Pierfrancesco are also good.

Giuseppe always extracts excellent cinematography and background musical score, so does he this time.

In the last 20 minutes, the movie looses its hold a bit but all in all it is a great movie viewing. I do not know Italian or the Dutch sub-titles – but good movies do not require local language to communicate and good directors are not restrictive with any aspects of constraining mediums of cinema.

That is the brilliance of classical form of movie making! (Stars 7.25 out of 10)


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