Movies We Like
Eastern Promises is a film that stars an American playing a Russian thug, a Frenchman playing a Russian Enforcer and an Australian playing a British midwife. This is something that I feel only David Cronenberg could pull off.
In recent years, Cronenberg has gone away from his far out sexual fantasies and strange characters involving very strange situations to something a little more straight forward. To say that doesn’t mean that that is a bad thing. With this new, more conventional approach to storytelling, Cronenberg and his cast shine in this tale of crime, betrayal and search for the truth.
After assisting in the birth of a baby born to a 14 year old Ukrainian prostitute, a British Midwife (Watts) discovers a diary belonging to the girl that could unlock dangerous secrets that could potentially cause great harm not only to herself but to those around her.
The nurse seeks out a translator in hopes of finding any family to the newborn child but stumbles onto a Russian crime underworld instead. Those whom she thinks are her friends quickly become her enemies and those close to her begin to distance themselves.
The driver (Mortensen) for the Vory V Zakone (thieves in law) brotherhood is doing his best to work his way up in the ranks despite his overbearing commander (creepily played by Cassel). Upon receiving orders from the father of the brotherhood, Mortensen sets out to silence the nurse. Although it is unsaid, we see that the thuggish driver is developing feelings for the innocent nurse and begins to question his loyalty, but not entirely because of his new attraction.
As we get closer to unlocking the mysteries of the diary, we are thrust into a quagmire of deceit and violence with a style that only David Cronenberg could provide.
Shot entirely in London, this marks the first feature from Cronenberg that was not shot in Canada. Donning amazing performances from the lead characters, Eastern Promises finds its way under your skin trying desperately to cut itself out. A must see for any Cronenberg fan and any fan of the Drama/Crime genre.
Eastern Promises was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor (Viggo Mortensen).