Grade B –

Manny’s Movie Musings: In London, Naomi Watts (playing a nurse) helps a Russian girl give birth…the child lives but the mother dies.  Only a diary written in Russian by the dead mother will shed light as to who the girl was.  So what does Watts do?  Does she go to the police and say “Here you go, do your job?”  Nope, she goes to a Russian restaurant and asks the owner to translate; and wouldn’t you know it, the owner happens to be a big time, Russian mobster who is connected to the dead mother!  Now Watts, her family, and the baby are all in danger.  But Viggo Mortensen (who plays a low-level Russian mobster), may have a way out for Watts.  Is he helping Watts because he is attracted to her, or does Mortensen have his own agenda against his employers?  But for the outrageous shenanigan of **SPOILER ALERT**a mobster easily stealing a baby from a hospital, this engaging drama/suspense/thriller would have received a higher grade.  My most memorable, movie moment of “Eastern Promises” is the scene when **SPOILER ALERT**two Chechen mobsters attack Mortensen in a bath house, and Mortensen, while naked, has to fight off the big gorillas as his ding-a-ling happily swings back and forth — it is horrifying and comedic at the same time.

— M