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Unknown (2011)

Unknown poster.jpg

This one completely passed me by when it was first released in the cinema for reasons which presently escape me. Then it was out of the local video store (late, lamented) whenever I went to rent it. A friend insisted I would love it so I did the unthinkable. Reader, I bought my own copy. There is nothing wrong with this film. It does everything you think it could or should do. Cannily adapted from the source novel by French screen/writer Didier Van Cauwelaert (who has my undying admiration/envy for writing a musical with MICHEL LEGRAND!!!!) by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell, it deals with that thorny problem of identity. Or, as Arnold Schwarzenegger once had it, If I’m Not Me, Den Who De Hell Am I?! Quite. And here it’s a spy thriller with Liam Neeson as the man who takes a dunk in the Spree on arrival in Berlin and winds up looking for help from Diane Kruger while wife January Jones inexplicably shuns him when he goes back to the Hotel Adlon. She’s now married to Aidan Quinn. And Sebastian Koch and Bruno Ganz might help him find out just what the hell is going on. Then Frank Langella pays a visit … Brilliant use of the city as location, fabulous cinematography (a palette of greys with pops of red) by the estimable Flavio Labiano (who does a similarly great job on The Gunman, a film with a totally different aesthetic) and an incredibly well-chosen cast make this worthy of Hitchcock. The first of three terrific collaborations between Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra but this is my favourite.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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