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Unknown Woman [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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4 used from £38.86
Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details) Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026IQTQS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,755 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 May 2010
Format: DVD
Guiseppe Tornatore is on top form once again with this wonderful film that he wrote as well as directed. Called 'La Sconosciuta' in Italian, which literally means the unknown. I couldn't believe it when I saw that there wasn't a review on here already, surely I'm not the only person who has this.

Filled throughout with flashbacks the film opens with some nudity, and then we are taken to a lady called Irena, who is looking for work. Irena is a Ukrainian immigrant in Italy and we see her renting a quite expensive apartment, although she could get a cheaper and better one elsewhere. Irena is now looking for some work as a cleaner in the area. Offering the concierge of the apartments over the road where she lives a percentage of her earnings, you instantly see that Irena is up to something, after all how can she possibly pay for her apartment? Through her flashbacks we see that she was once called Georgia and was a prostitute in a sex slave ring, which also did something a little extra on the side.

We soon see Irena manage to wrangle herself into a family home as cleaner and nanny, by some underhand means. Also we soon see where Irena gets her money from, and what it is she is after. Despite that though it doesn't detract from your viewing pleasure, instead you just want to see what happens in the end. Trying to escape her former life Irena finds that it isn't that easy to do, after all you don't know who will turn up.

Ultimately a tale of a mother on a mission this has murder, crime and intrigue. There is some nudity here but you should be warned that this has scenes of sexual violence with bdsm, which some people may find disturbing. Kseniya Rappoport in the leading role deservedly won an award for her portrayal in this fantastic film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Really beautiful film where Tornatore takes over where Leone left off. He has surpassed himself yet again with with some beautiful story telling. Well done Giuseppe
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Arrived on time and as advertised
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ccacf90) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ccd5b28) out of 5 stars Everything together just right - highly recommend 24 July 2009
By Steve Kuehl - Published on Amazon.com
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(0x9ccd5b7c) out of 5 stars Difficult, dark film. Xenia Rappoport is amazing. 10 Sept. 2008
By sitenoise - Published on Amazon.com
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(0x9ccd5f30) out of 5 stars Giuseppe Tornatore is a genius, this movie is a gem 22 July 2009
By Alexyos - Published on Amazon.com
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(0x9ccd739c) out of 5 stars Excellent film from Tornatore 9 Nov. 2008
By Maía - Published on Amazon.com
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(0x9ccd5fa8) out of 5 stars Hardcore suspense! 9 May 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
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