Running Time: 118 min.
Release year: 2008
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Cast: Ksenia Rappoport, Michele Placido, Claudia Gerini, Piera Degli Esposti, Clara Dossena, Alessandro Haber
When we first meet Irena (Xenia Rappoport), a young Ukranian immigrant alone in a bustling Italian city, she is fixated on getting a housekeeping job at a nondescript apartment building. Money is clearly not her motivation; she rents an expensive flat just across the plaza where, from her window, she spies on an unsuspecting family living in one of the building's sprawling apartments.
The doorman, smitten by Irena's worn beauty, gets her a job scrubbing the floors of the buildings vertiginous spiral staircase. It's there that Irena calculatedly befriends Gina, the family's maid, and learns more about the lives of Valeria and Donato Adacher, high-end jewelers whose frayed marriage seems on the verge of collapse. Their only child, Thea, suffers from a rare condition that has robbed her of such crucial defense mechanisms as the instinct to put her hands out when she falls.
As Irena takes more and more risks in her mysterious quest to find out everything she can about the Adachers, we see in flashbacks shocking glimpses of her tortured past, and interspersed with the scenes of violence are a few happy memories of a sweet and passionate love affair.
Stopping at nothing to insert herself into the Adachers' lives, Irena finally succeeds in taking Gina's place as maid and nanny to the fragile Thea, with whom she develops a powerful bond. But as Valeria begins to suspect something isn't right about their devoted housekeeper, Irena's violent past resurfaces. As secrets from her past threaten to swallow them all, the final strands of a web of murder and deceit come together to reveal the shocking truth behind Irena's connection to the Adachers.