Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ksenia has been adopted and embraced by Italian cinema.
Winner of David di Donatello Awards, European Film Awards, and a Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival, Ksenia starred in two of my favorite Italian thrillers.
La Doppia Ora (The Double Hour) has a real fear factor, made me jump right out of my seat, and I found myself actually covering my eyes. And it’s done in the best kind of way; the threat is hidden in the shadows, waiting to jump out and say “boo” at any given moment.
Ksenia plays a woman that has secrets who meets Guido (Filippo Timi) speed dating and though at first they appear to be a couple of poor damaged souls that gets lucky at another chance at love, it doesn’t take long to realize that in this movie, appearances are always deceiving.
In Giuseppe Tornatore’s La Sconosciuta (The Unknown Woman), Ksenia is the middle of this rat’s nest of intrigue as Irina, a Ukrainian sex slave who has escaped to Italy in search of something and we are left guessing for a long time what that something is. She arrives in a northern Italian town with a big wad of cash, taking a terrible apartment, and intent on ingratiating herself in the lives of a rich Italian family that live across the street from her. We initially sympathize with her, but we become increasingly aware that she’s really bad news – on many fronts. She’s not going to let anything get in her way of reaching her goal – whatever that goal may be.
The rest of the cast is completed with a list of some of the finest Italian actors; Margherita Buy (Days and Clouds), Michele Placido, Claudia Gerini (Iris Blond, Don’t Move), Piera Degli Esposti (Il Divo, My Mother’s Smile), and Pierfrancesco Favino (Come Undone).