The Unknown Woman
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Top Customer Reviews
As far as acting, risks and film style - this should have won that year but at least it got submitted for the Academy (wrongly overlooked - probably due to content). A suspenseful tale that follows the lead woman through flashbacks and present time, with an editing style that makes the film a stand-out in storytelling. Xenia Rappaport convinced me beyond any doubt of her skill level, and even when you watch the supplemental documentary, she exudes a certain professionalism that warrants attention. A strong R rating of a film about retribution, loss, prostitution in the worst way, and an ending I did not see coming (considering all that had happened).
The DVD quality is excellent, the sound mixed perfectly for what was being asked, and the supplemental feature contains just the right amount of background material and non-cheesy interviews. Hope this does not get overlooked again.
Director Giuseppe Tornatore says this film is about a woman reclaiming her power as a woman (there's a great big serving of motherhood with that) after it has been stripped from her from every angle imaginable. Rappoport's character is the victim of a human slave trade that uses immigrant Eastern European women to make babies for the upper-class. She's gotten out of it, but with a lot of baggage.Read more ›
In a series of flashbacks and flash forwards the story reveals the history of a Ukrainian girl Irena (a brilliant tour de force of acting by Russian born actress known variably as Kensiya/Ksenia/Xenia Rappoport) who lives in a small village, has a handsome construction worker lover, but following a need for a better life of wealth and fame, becomes involved with the pimp Muffa (Michele Placido) who uses her popularity as a prostitute to fill his coffers while sadistically binding and beating her into submission as a breeder of babies for the black market. Irena finally attacks Muffa, thinking she has killed him, escapes and moves to Velarchi, Italy where she rents a small apartment across the street from wealthy couple Donato (Pierfrancesco Favino) and Valeria (Claudia Gerini) Adacher who are gold dealers and their daughter Tea (Clara Dossena) who apparently is suffering from a neurological disorder that causes her parents to be overprotective of her lack of ability to cope with aggression. First working as a servant and house cleaner Irena pleads with her employer to find her a better job, and that job just happens to be a new nanny for the Adachers.
Irena gradually ingratiates herself in to the family, earning the trust and respect of the parents and especially that of Tea.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm still reeling from the impact of this movie. Helps to explain of ongoing turmoil and its effests on modern day Europe.Published 7 months ago by Tom Hilborn
This is the best film out of Italy since the 1960's. I bought this DVD for my next door neighbor who is Italian.Published on November 7, 2013 by Gary Rulapaugh
Spooky, curious movie from the director of Cinema Paradiso.
Hitchcockian twists and turns keep you wondering where
the movie is going. Read more
While I have this from my library I must watch it again. The acting, cinematography and musical score made this movie a thrill to watch. Read morePublished on July 31, 2012 by W. Powell