Eastern Promises was better than I expected and I expected it to be great. Cronenberg did more than impress me with A History of Violence (2005) with its seamlessness and original story-telling, so I naturally went into Eastern Promises with high hopes, which were further elevated due to the critical acclaim the film has been receiving.
Eastern Promises is violently beautiful and leaves little to the imagination (not just the killing, but the sex, vulnerability, birth… everything), but nothing feels over-the-top – the whole film feels natural. Even when someone is having their fingers cut off or a knife pushed into the back of their head it feels true to form – it flows – versus a tool of shock that takes you out of the story. You are captivated throughout the film – you don’t want it to end.
Performances are amazing all around – amazing.
If Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen, and Naomi Watts don’t get some Oscar recognition for Eastern Promises, well… then fuck that.