- Starring: Dagmara Dominczyk, Jeremy Renner, Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard
- Summary: 1921. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulski (Marion Cotillard) and her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan) sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, she quickly falls prey to Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, Ewa encounters Bruno's cousin, the debonair magician Orlando (Jeremy Renner). He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself. [The Wild Bunch]… Expand
- Director: James Gray
- Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
- More Details and Credits »
The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison.
Marion Cotillard has made her share of unremarkable, if not remarkably bad, films. But when the French star, who won the Academy Award for her unearthly reincarnation of Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose", gets it right, the result is magic.
The Immigrant is not unlike a Prohibition-era “Taxi Driver,” with Cotillard as the apprentice hooker, Phoenix as the sweet-talking pimp and Jeremy Renner (playing the theater’s magician, Orlando) as the would-be savior.
Gray does show some amusing facets of this world, such as prostitutes dressed up as society figures like the Rockefellers and Astors, for instance, but mostly The Immigrant is a bleak affair.
Dialogue aside, the craftsmanship is unimpeachable, and Gray takes a timeless approach to pacing and camerawork: even the sunlight is sepia-tinted. But the grand themes of loyalty and ambition never catch fire, and the film’s few truly memorable moments are invariably its smallest.
May 16, 2014Beautifully filmed and featuring 3 superb performances from Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner. Not everyone will enjoy the pace, but the film is most rewarding to people who pay close attention to its details. Films just aren't made like this anymore. I consider it to be one of Grays best, and with career-best performances from Cotillard and Renner. I think there's a chance that the audience for this kind of film will be smaller than others, slow building melodramas typically are these days, but Gray has made a masterpiece of his.… Collapse
May 24, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just got back from seeing this and I thought it was excellent. The
cinematography was gorgeous and the performances were very powerful.
I'm sure that what happened to Eva happened to a lot of young women.
Bruno was a very **** character, drawing her in and putting her
in more and more desperate situations, taking full advantage of the
fact that she would do anything to get her sister off of Ellis Island.
And making it seem like it was her decision to boot! When all of your
options suck what do you do? If you have a strong will to survive, you
do what Eva did.
I know that Eva was charmed by Orlando/Emile (Jeremy Renner) but if
she'd gone with him I think she would've ultimately regretted it. While
well meaning, he came across as something of a flighty dilettante who
would've dropped her the moment something shinier and newer came along.
His character was all élan and dash with very little substance,
The final scene between Eva and Bruno was perfect and I hope that come
Oscar season this movie gets some recognition.… Expand
Jun 5, 2014The director of the film wanted to recreate the world of the teeming lower east aside of New York during the great European immigration at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. He has done this with extraordinarily evocative images. But while the actors are all marvelous. the story lacks specificity and clarity. There's too much unexplained backstory==why is a simple Catholic girl emigrating from Poland? How does she come to speak good English? Why do you find out what happened to her on the ship so late in the film? What is the basis for the mutual hatred of the two men played by Phoenix and Renner. Worth seeing, nevertheless, but oh, what it could have been with these actors and this cinematographer.… Expand
Jun 9, 2014American drama starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner.
It is a story of a young woman Ewa coming to Ellis Island, NY, in 1921 with her sister. They escaped from after-war Poland and are looking for better life. Her sister is sick with tuberculosis and is separated from Ewa. This is how her un-fortunes start in America.
This movie had a potential to be great with excellent actors and an interesting story. Alas, directing and the script did not impress me. Overall, the movie is uneven and mediocre. Some episodes lack authenticity and are not convincing. Cotillard's performance is excellent but I would not say that about two other stars in this movie. Cinematography is quite good though.… Expand
Jun 1, 2014A plodding, directionless period piece melodrama whose meandering script and largely one-dimensional characters are unable to elevate this film to the loftiness to which it aspires. Regrettably, its exquisite cinematography and fine production values aren't enough to salvage this otherwise-mediocre offering.… Expand
Aug 12, 2014Marion Cotillard gives another charming performance in this period drama, but her heartbreaking acting cannot save the film from being overpowered by mediocrity and clumsiness. The story that it attempts to tell is somewhat realistic, but everything feels like a soap-opera that struggles to manipulate its viewers and present itself as quality. Actually, it is decently directed and acted, but the result is disappointing due to missing character development and a blindness to New York's lifestyle and culture in the 20's. It merely uses an intriguing background to upgrade a cheesy melodrama to an artsy one, but does not succeed. It is, overall, an awkward and misfired attempt to recreate the style of 20th century classic dramas, that clearly targets an audience who wants more of a film than simple entertainment but profoundly disappoints it.… Expand
May 26, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie was incredibly disappointing. The characters are static and the main character is completely abused for no reason. Literally, the horrible things that happen to her don't even move the plot along. The whole story seems to have no point in my opinion.… Expand