Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: La Sconosciuta
Alternate title: The Unknown
Italy/France, 2006. Medusa Film, Manigolda Film, Sky, Cinecittá Studios, Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission, Umbria Film Commission. Story and Screenplay by Giuseppe Tornatore, Collaboration with Cinematography by Produced by Laura Fattori. Music by Ennio Morricone. Production Design by Tonino Zera. Costume Design by Nicoletta Ercole. Film Editing by Massimo Quaglia.
A Ukrainian woman shows up in a Roman apartment building to work as a house cleaner, then makes her way into the home of a highly successful jeweler and her husband and becomes nanny to their child. As the film progresses, she develops an attachment to the little girl that goes beyond friendship or feminine instinct. Flashbacks intermittently appear, describing her previous life as an abused prostitute to a horrific pimp who left her barely alive before she changed paths, and little by little we put the pieces together. This dark, soap-operatic drama, Italy’s most critically successful film of its year, has a story that hooks you in completely from the beginning; the plot often delves too much into showy melodrama, but the characters and excellent performances do a number on you enough to keep you in your seat until it is over. Director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) tantalizes you with enough hints and prods to make you desperate to find out the key to the actual plot, which unfolds very naturally. Look for cameos by the wonderful and the legendary .