The Unknown Woman(La Sconscuita)
Multi award-winning Italian thriller from Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso), focusing on the dark world of human trafficking.... More
Irena is a beautiful young Eastern European woman who arrives in the Italian city of Trieste looking for work. There is a mysterious side to her visit: she rents out an apartment she cannot afford and begins to spy on the affluent couple opposite, and their four year old daughter. Stopping at nothing to become the family's trusted maid and nanny, Irena risks it all to uncover a dark truth about the family...Hide
BY Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer
Director Giuseppe Tornatore is best known as the empathetic humanist behind tearjerker Cinema Paradiso, but here he’s back to his roots, his seldom seen early thrillers. Really he’s attempting to blend both into one heady brew and only partially succeeds in making it palatable.... More
The opening act sets you up for cold blooded goodness with Tornatore ratcheting up the suspense like he’s channeling Hitchcock. Lush but foreboding camera work sets a sinister scene while legendary composer Ennio Morricone’s score gives the story a knife edge to teeter on. After the first half hour you could be forgiven for thinking you’re watching the best pure thriller in years, but then things start shifting story wise.
Snippets of flashbacks that so effectively provided an aura of mystery are fleshed out into a full blown mother’s love narrative. While they produce sequences punctuated by terrific acting, they also deflate the tension that had been the film’s strongest suit up till that point and rob you of the thriller pay offs you have come to crave. You’re left with the suspicion that Tornatore is just too nice a guy to really twist the knife when he has the chance.
Ultimately, the piece ends up betwixt and between noirish crime and heart wrenching melodrama, never truly finding a way to unite them harmoniously.