Onoff is a famous writer who hasn't published any new books for quite some time and has become a recluse. When he is picked up by the police one stormy night, without any identification, ... See full summary »
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
Roma Film Festival - La Sconosciuta: we waited 6 years, but it's been worth it!
We have been waiting for Tornatore since Malena, in 2000, and now he has come back with this drama/ thriller, with a rather melodramatic plot inspired by the often very tragic news stories about the exploitation of women from East Europe in Italy. The main character, the Ukranian Irena, played by the wonderful and hardly known Russian stage actress Xenia Rappoport, has something very mysterious about her. She pursues an obscure aim, concerning the young Italian couple whom she works for and their 5 years old daughter. At the beginning the film has something very hitchcockian about it, then it turns to melodrama, with many emotional moments (don't forget your hankies!) There are few very hard scenes, with much violence, mental and physical. Tornatore does the usual good work. In this film he could count on a capital cast, including, besides Rappoport, the cream of the crop of Italian acting: an hairless and extremely sleazy Michele Placido, the very good Claudia Gerini and Pierfrancesco Favino, Alessandro Haber, Piera degli Esposti and Margherita Buy, who agreed to appear just a few minutes by the end of the film. Clara Dossena, the child actress who play one of the key characters of the film, is not only incredibly cute, but also much talented. A very remarkable thing is the score by maestro Ennio Morricone. Some critics said it's too invasive, but God, it's beautiful. I think you will love the sweet and heartbreaking "Lullaby theme". On the whole, a convincing film. Probably the best of the first Roma Film Festival. My rating is 8/10
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