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London Film Festival 2007 Selection 1

Eastern Promises

Preview by Jack Foley

Film: Eastern Promises

Director: David Cronenberg

Who’s in it? Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent Cassel

What’s it about? Midwife Anna Khitrova (Watts) becomes deeply affected when a teenage girl dies while giving birth and resolves to try and trace the infant’s lineage by using a diary found among her belongings. Her quest places her in a dangerous world populated by Russian gangsters headed by the ruthless Semyon (Mueller-Stahl) and his volatile son Kirill (Cassel). Only the Mobs’ mysterious driver Nikolai (Mortensen) offers Anna any assistance but it’s difficult to know why – whether it’s from sympathy or for personal gain.

Why you should see it: David Cronenberg blew almost everyone away (sometimes literally) with last year’s Oscar nominated A History Of Violence, and Eastern Promises is his keenly-anticipated follow-up that reunites him with Viggo Mortensen. It’s been chosen as the opening film of this year’s festival and is a dark, violent but utterly gripping London-based thriller that offers another tour-de-force performance from Viggo. What’s more, it delivers one of the most shockingly brutal fight scenes in recent cinema history that really leaves you gasping for breath. It’s sure to become one of the year’s talking points.

Festival dates: Oct 17 (Odeon Leicester Sq, 7pm) and Oct 18 (Odeon West End 2, 4pm)

Release date: October 26, 2007

Next: The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford