Monday, October 8, 2007

Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises is the latest entry from David Cronenberg. It's the first movie I've ever seen about the Russian mob, and I think it belongs on any list rating the best gangster movies of all time*. It centers around a baby, whose teenage mother died in childbirth. A midwife, played ably by Naomi Watts, finds the mother's diary. It's written in Russian, and inside has the business card of a Russian restaurant. Watts takes the card and diary to the restaurant, and encounters (unbeknownst to her)the head of a Russian crime family. He seems like a nice old man, but she soon sees that he's not. We also meet the family's chauffeur, in a fucking great performance by Viggo Mortenson. What comes next is the slow ascent of Mortenson in the crime family, what the teenage girl's diary says, and Watts doing her damnedest to stand up for the baby. I don't want to give too much away, since I felt like some of the best parts of this movie blindsided me, in a good way. I really recommend this movie, with two caveats. One: there are some gory scenes, so be prepared to be grossed out. Two: Viggo Mortenson, wrestling around naked, covered in blood. (You can see his junk).

I give this movie 8 bowls of borscht.

*This list includes The Godfather (parts 1 and 2), Goodfellas, Miller's Crossing, Casino, Donnie Brasco, A Bronx Tale, and countless others. What do you like?

1 comment:

Midge said...
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