Eastern Promises

September 21st, 2007

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Eastern Promises

Still of Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts in Eastern PromisesStill of Naomi Watts in Eastern PromisesStill of Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts in Eastern PromisesStill of Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts in Eastern PromisesStill of Vincent Cassel in Eastern PromisesStill of Vincent Cassel and Naomi Watts in Eastern Promises

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 7.8/10 (103,762 voted)

Critic's Score: 82/100

Director: David Cronenberg

Stars: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl

In London, the Russian pregnant teenager Tatiana arrives bleeding in a hospital, and the doctors save her baby only. The Russian descendant midwife Anna Khitrova finds Tatiana's diary written in Russian language in her belongings and decided to find her family to deliver the baby, she brings the diary home and ask her uncle Stepan to translate the document. Stepan refuses, but Anna finds a card of a restaurant owned by the Russian Semyon inside the diary and she visits the old man trying to find a lead to contact Tatiana's family. When she mentions the existence of the diary, Semyon immediately offers to translate the document. However, Stepan translates part of the diary and Anna discovers that Semyon and his sick son Kirill had raped Tatiana when she was fourteen years old and forced her to work as prostitute in a brothel of their own. Further, Semyon is the dangerous boss of the Russian mafia "Vory v Zakone"...

Josef Altin - Ekrem
Mina E. Mina - Azim
Aleksandar Mikic - Soyka
Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse - Tatiana (as Sarah Jeanne Labrosse)
Lalita Ahmed - Customer
Badi Uzzaman - Chemist
Naomi Watts - Anna
Doña Croll - Nurse (as Dona Croll)
Raza Jaffrey - Doctor Aziz
Sinéad Cusack - Helen (as Sinead Cusack)
Jerzy Skolimowski - Stepan
Tatiana Maslany - Tatiana (voice)
Viggo Mortensen - Nikolai
Vincent Cassel - Kirill
Armin Mueller-Stahl - Semyon

Taglines: Every sin leaves a mark.


Official Website: Metropolitan Films [France] | Official site |

Release Date: 21 September 2007

Filming Locations: Broadway Market, Hackney, London, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: £25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $547,092 (USA) (16 September 2007) (15 Screens)

Gross: $16,866,286 (USA) (21 October 2007)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Canada: (Toronto International Film Festival)

Did You Know?

One day after shooting, Viggo Mortensen went to a pub without washing off his tattoos or even changing out of his costume. He claims that some of the patrons became very frightened of him, assuming he was a real member of Vory v Zakone.

Errors in geography: The scenes involving the football crowds make no logical sense for a real match at Stamford Bridge. In the first shot, the crowd is exiting the ground via the Britannia Gate on Fulham Road after a game. In the second shot, the crowd is moving from Fulham Broadway along Fulham Road towards the Britannia Gate (as it would before a game); in the third shot, a crowd of people is crossing Lillee Road and entering Brompton Cemetary via the north gate (as it would before a game) but in the next shot (in the cemetery itself), the crowd is moving in the opposite direction, towards the north gate and away from the ground as it would after a game.

[first lines]
Azim: He says "Christmas." So I say to him,
[in Turkish]
Azim: "Should we go shopping?"
Azim: The kid's 16. He says, "But uncle, it's Christmas."

User Review


Rating: 10/10

First of all it is amazing the amount of research that went into this movie. When Mortissen's characters says that his father worked for the government, in Russian he actually says: "Hunched his back for the uncle"! Even the poster with little and index finger straighter then the rest, it all breathers authenticity.

I didn't go in expecting non-Russian actors to suddenly have no accent, but I did have hesitations about the pronunciation, that usually tends to be horrible. Not so here, despite the accent (that was slight), the intonation, the way the characters cary themselves especially Mortinssen's are very Russian. (Even his less then perfect English sounds Russia when he misses articles: "Not good place for girl to grow up.") Overall the director shows a bit of what a real SinCity looks like. Violence is like a snap of a whip, sudden and loud. The movie is very stylish, but without trying to be so. It's just how these people like to live their lifes. A lot has been said about acting and it is true Mortinssen really delivers. All the auther actors are great too though, there is no weak link in this movie.

Anyway the bottom line: The most authentic movie about Russian mobsters that the west has produced so far. Furthermore I find the only aspect in which it looses to the Godfather is scope. Although the movie is complete I can not help, but to want for more. The best film I've seen this year.

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