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The Unknown Woman

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 281.79
Only 5 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kseniya Rappoport, Michele Placido, Claudia Gerini, Piera Degli Esposti, Alessandro Haber
  • Directors: Giuseppe Tornatore
  • Writers: Giuseppe Tornatore, Massimo De Rita
  • Producers: Laura Fattori
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: July 21 2009
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0026IQTQS
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Product Description

Genre: Foreign Video - ItalianRating: RRelease Date: 21-JUL-2009Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
OMG! Tornatore did it again! This is a haunting thriller, as dark as life can sometimes be. It's the story of a woman, former Eastern European, slave prostitute, struggling to find the right path in life, but not in a simple way, instead, trying to find answers in the troubled world where she lived. The actress playing Irene, Ksenia Rappaport is simply amazing. All the cast is wonderful. Michele Placido, playing her bald brutal pimp, is soo good, he gives you goosebumps.
Master Ennio Morricone's beautiful score completes and defines the mood the movie creates.
After Cinema Paradisso, The Star Maker, The Legend of 1900, Malena, and now Sconosciuta, Giuseppe Tornatore stands as one of the finest directors in the world. He, definitely,is my favorite.
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Great film.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9af4a714) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae9327c) out of 5 stars Everything together just right - highly recommend July 24 2009
By Steve Kuehl - Published on
Format: DVD
From a director who has made some wonderful films, from one of the best composers there ever has been, and from an actress that gave a performance of a lifetime comes this incredible piece of work that I cannot recommend enough.

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.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae932d0) out of 5 stars Difficult, dark film. Xenia Rappoport is amazing. Sept. 9 2008
By sitenoise - Published on
A little hard to follow and a little hard to swallow, this film by the director of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso is gritty and loose. A dark controlled chaos in skilled hands, it feels like an army of films rushing at you all at once. It's a bit overwhelming until the grabs you, sucks you in and won't let you go performance of Xenia Rappoport kicks in. She's a magnet in the middle of a mysterious mayhem. It's too bad that the style and substance of the film will prevent it from ever becoming popular because her portrayal of suffering and sheer determination is one for the history books. The woman's got chops. She moves like an insect through the undergrowth of her seedy milieu with an androgynous, unkempt beauty that's both tempting and invisible. She's able to shift her portrayal from one emotion to another, and then another, without moving a muscle in her face--a skill few actors possess. It's her story and we follow her through it not knowing exactly what she's after or what she will do with it when she seems to have it in her grasp. That's the unknown part and Rappoport plays the mystery for all it's worth. She works the complex narrative inside her head and lets the revelations drip out slowly, uncontrollably.

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. Some of it is misplaced and some of it is hurled at us in short, chaotic flashbacks in the beginning of the film (that's the hard to follow part), slowly unfolding to more understandable scenes as they catch up with her present life at the end of the film--a nice structural technique by the director.

Roger Ebert wrote a review of this movie which essentially lists the aspects of it he thinks he understands and the aspects he thinks he doesn't. He scores a little above average, I think, which is about as good as anyone is probably going to do. There's a noir-ish component (not a stylistic one) to the film where major events and character traits are unleashed which are way beyond the reality of any mere mortal's life. There are also plenty of cause-for-pause moments when you will consider if the means justify the end. That's the hard to swallow part but I'm not complaining. It is a movie after all, and if you've read many of my reviews you know that I take all comers when it comes to plot gymnastics as long as they don't infringe upon the integrity of my players, as long as they don't cause incredulity to appear on the faces of the actors because they don't believe the script. Giuseppe Tornatore is lucky, or smart, to have enlisted an actress with the strength of Xenia Rappoport. ET coulda popped in here and I don't think she would have missed a beat.

Speaking of beats, Ennio Morricone scored this film spectacularly.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae93684) out of 5 stars Giuseppe Tornatore is a genius, this movie is a gem July 21 2009
By Alexyos - Published on
Format: DVD
Giuseppe Tornatore is a genius, this movie is a gem. Buy it and keep it in your collection. Superb acting, incredible story of human love and desperation. I cannot believe this movie did not win any Oscars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae93ac8) out of 5 stars Excellent film from Tornatore Nov. 9 2008
By Maía - Published on
Not hard to follow at all, everything fits perfectly, every scene, every flashback, Tornatore is a great director and the music of Ennio Morricone keeps us on the edge of our seats on every scene as the story unveils. It's a very good movie, I highly recommend it. The actres that portrays Irena is excellent, very powerful and the little girl it's adorable. It's been a long time sice I've seen a well done film like this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae936fc) out of 5 stars Hardcore suspense! May 9 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Italian language movie with subtitles. This movie is in the genre of Alfred Hitchcock movies. Suspense and suprises throughout the movie. There are a lot of nude and sexually explicit scenes so may not be suitable for children, but definetly a movie to watch if you like suspense.