7.5/10
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The Unknown Woman (2006)

La sconosciuta (original title)
Haunted by a horrible past, a Ukrainian young woman calculatedly insinuates herself into the life of a rich Italian family.

Director:

Giuseppe Tornatore

Writers:

Giuseppe Tornatore (story), Giuseppe Tornatore (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kseniya Rappoport ... Irena (as Ksenia Rappoport)
Michele Placido ... Muffa
Claudia Gerini ... Valeria Adacher
Piera Degli Esposti ... Gina
Alessandro Haber Alessandro Haber ... Matteo
Clara Dossena Clara Dossena ... Tea Adacher
Ángela Molina ... Lucrezia (as Angela Molina)
Margherita Buy ... Avvocato Irena
Pierfrancesco Favino ... Donato Adacher
Nicola Di Pinto ... Magistrato
Paolo Elmo Paolo Elmo ... Nello
Simona Nobili Simona Nobili ... Poliziotta
Elisa Morucci Elisa Morucci ... Cameriera
Giulia Di Quilio ... Segretaria
Pino Calabrese Pino Calabrese ... Magistrato
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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


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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | Ukrainian

Release Date:

20 October 2006 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Unknown Woman See more »

Filming Locations:

Papigno, Terni, Umbria, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,569, 6 April 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,569, 6 April 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

 
Surprisingly Solid Italian Thriller
2 March 2008 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The Ukranian Irena (Xenia Rappoport) arrives in the city of Velarchi, rents an expensive but simple apartment and seeks a job as a servant in the building in the other side of the street. Then she manages to work for the wealthy couple of gold dealers Adacher, and occasionally babysitting their little daughter Tea (Clara Dossena), who has a rare neurological disease that leaves the little girl without self-defense against any sort of aggression or accident. While working for the family, she is haunted by recollections from her mysterious past of prostitution and violence in Ukrania. However, her nightmares come true when she meets her former pimp that she believed had died. "La Sconosciuta" is a surprisingly solid and original Italian thriller, with an engaging dramatic story disclosed like a puzzle through a non-linear screenplay. I saw this movie on DVD with a group of friends with low expectation and we found it so good that we never dare to stop the film to make any comment, or drink water or go to a toilet so absorbed we were with the story. The direction of Giuseppe Tornatore from "Cinema Paradiso" is outstanding, with top-notch performances of Xenia Rappoport, Clara Dossena and the cast. The resolution of the plot is excellent and never corny. My vote is eight. Title (Brazil): "A Desconhecida" ("The Unknown")


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