Last night I watched La sconosciuta (a.k.a. The Unknown Woman), a wonderful drama thriller by director Giuseppe Tornatore. This movie is a brilliant piece of writing and directing. After 45 minutes watching it, there was still a big question mark in my head: what was going on? What was she after? The hints were given, little by little, from the start until it completed in the end, that the central character, Irena (Xenia Rappoport), suffered trauma from her dark past. the movie starts with Irena looking for a job and she becomes a house-keeper in a family who has a little daughter named Thea. Irena makes a perfect house-keeper and Thea loves her, but something from Irena's past won't let her go.
I like how the family Adacher is portrayed in the movie. The relationship among the 3 members seem real, unlike the ideal family usually depicted in American family movies. The porter makes an interesting character, because if we desperately look for a job, a question of commission must not be forgotten. The most interesting is of course the relationship between Irena and little Thea, from the bad first impression, until how Thea comes to love her.
I kept thinking of 'The Hand that Rocks The Cradle' when I began watching this and thought that perhaps Irena went into the Adacher family to harm Thea, but this is a different movie. Irena's way is wrong (I'm especially referring to what she did to Gina), but we sympathize with her and we pity her. I have never seen Xenia Rappoport before, so she makes the perfect 'Unknown Woman' to me.
The most surprising moment, I think, is when Gina says, "Why do you always make me sign?" My favourite scene is when Irena is almost caught out by the porter, because I always like when the screen is divided in 2 (see picture).
My opinion below contains spoilers and can be read by highlighted it.
Although Irena finds out that Thea is not her daughter, the end of the movie shows that she finds her lost children in her and Thea loves Irena like she loves a mother, and this pays back all Irena's sufferings.