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The Unknown Woman

Follows a manipulative formula that’s all too well known
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 17, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
Unknown-Woman-inside.jpg

What do we know about Irena (Ksenia Rappoport), the Unknown Woman in Giuseppe Tornatore’s La sconosciuta? That she’s a Ukrainian emigrée who arrives in a Northern Italian city on an unknown mission. That she takes an apartment across the square from a married pair of rich jewelers (Claudia Gerini and Pierfrancesco Favino) and their little daughter (Clara Dossena) and bribes the concierge of their building to get a position as their housekeeper. That she likes strawberries and, most important, has a bad case of the flashbacks: it seems every time Irena encounters a stressful situation, whether it’s being searched by security at the supermarket or taking a driving lesson, she lapses into a blurry montage of what look like outtakes from Pasolini’s Salò. For Irena is a woman with a past — but does she have a future? Tornatore leaves behind the G-rated sentiment of Cinema Paradiso in this exploitative 2006 thriller, which, though elevated by an Ennio Morricone score, follows a manipulative formula that’s all too well known. Italian | 118 minutes | Kendall Square
Related: Review: Inglourious Basterds, 2009: The year in movies, Review: Precious, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Ennio Morricone, Giuseppe Tornatore, Pierfrancesco Favino
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