The Immigrant (2013)

The Immigrant (2013)
  • Time: 120 min
  • Genre: Drama | Mystery | Romance
  • Director: James Gray
  • Cast: Jeremy Renner, Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix


1920. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulski and her sister Magda 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, 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. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.

One comment

  • This movie has a looming darkness and it follows the central character Ewa, played by the talented French Academy Award winning actress Marion Cotillard, as she and her sister escape one nightmare to fall into another. Immigrating from war torn Poland, where both their parents were massacred in front of them, the sisters encounter more problems on their journey across the ocean compounded more upon their arrival at Ellis Island. What should be their salvation turns into pure corrupt indenture. Ewa is quite unwittingly used by a man who basically bribes immigration officials into his own crooked purpose as her sister is sequestered due to suspicion of having TB. This is the fast unfolding story of Ewa and her sole hope to avoid deportation, Bruno Weiss.

    The story may be too predictable for some, but nonetheless it is a believable tale of how corruption leads to a confluence of events more harrowing and accidental. It definitely engages the viewer, but the two leads are so immensely strong that they carry the movie. Joquin Phoenix gives an utterly fantastic conflicted man who has managed to survive and prosper until he, sinks to a level even he has trouble living with. His portrayal of Bruno Weiss makes this movie which is a lot because it is against Cottilard’s Ewa character who brings an almost unbearable amount of quiet suffering which permeates everything. There’s a doomed love story playing out as well to which Jeremy Renner’s performance accentuates. Renner’s role adds tremendously as a catalyst to greater levels of both hope and despair.

    The Immigrant is an extremely well crafted movie with great period cinematography. It looks dark and old blending despair and beauty expertly. Easily recommended for the performances of Marion Cotillard and Joquin Phoenix which are extremely strong.

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