Things abruptly change -- as we jump to the future, it turns out -- when we follow the aforementioned young and sweaty blond woman to a later point in her life. It's difficult to explain what happens in An Unknown Woman without giving away too much, but in a nutshell we follow the Ukranian Irena (a brilliant and brave Kseniya Rappoport) to Italy. She looks like hell but she's flush with cash. And for some reason she's obsessed with a well-off family who has a young daughter. Irena begins to insinuate into the family's life -- moving in across the street, getting a job as a maid in their building, and -- as things take an even more disturbing turn -- she knocks the family's housekeeper down the stairs, paralyzing her. Irena applies for the now-vacant job, and now she's in their home.
Continue reading: The Unknown Woman Review
Turned off yet? If not, then Castellitto's wealth of ostentatious slow-motion shots, employment of cheesy pop songs, and disgusting, exploitive use of a critically wounded young girl for his film's framing story, will undoubtedly do the trick. Adapted from Margaret Mazzantini's novel, Don't Move layers on cheap sentiment and shamelessly calculating plot twists without even a sidewise glance toward rationality. Timoteo's teenage daughter suffers serious head trauma in a motorcycle accident, and while waiting to hear word of her grave condition, Timoteo spies a mysterious figure on the hospital promenade who conjures memories of his beloved Italia, whom he not only loved and planned to run away with (wife and brand new baby be damned), but whom he credits for having healed his tortured soul. As embodied by Castellitto, Timoteo is the kind of misery-relishing sad-sack who enjoys prolonged, empty stares into nothingness, and his behavior is so ridiculous - including one screamingly silly moment when he writes "I Raped A Woman" in the sand while his wife ignorantly saunters by - that it's hard to envisage him as anything less than an absurdly overblown fictional creation. Watching him act forlornly in a dreary bar (in slow-motion, naturally) while Europe's "The Final Countdown" blares from the jukebox is to witness the eye-rolling height of bizarre unintentional comedy.
Continue reading: Don't Move Review
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.