Eastern Promises is a 2007 British-Canadian-American gangster film directed by David Cronenberg, from a screenplay written by Steven Knight. The film stars Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, and Armin Mueller-Stahl, and tells a story of a Russian-British midwife’s interactions with the Russian Mafia in London. Principal photography began November 2006, in locations in and around London. The film has been noted for its plot twist, the subject of sex trafficking, and for its violence and realistic depiction of Russian career criminals, which includes detailed portrayal of the tattoos commonly worn by them.
Eastern Promises received positive critical reception, appearing on several critics’ “top 10 films” lists for 2007. The film has won several awards, including the Audience Prize for best film at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Best Actor award for Mortensen at the British Independent Film Awards. The film received twelve Genie Award nominations and three Golden Globe Award nominations. Mortensen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.