April 22, 2014

The Immigrant (2013)

The Immigrant (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: James Gray
Country: USA

Movie Review: American film director and screenwriter, James Gray, reunites Joaquin Phoenix (for the fourth time – “The Yards”, “We Own the Night”, “Two Lovers”), Marion Cotillard and Jermey Renner in “The Immigrant”, a drama set in the 20’s. Ewa (Cotillard) and her sister Magda got into a ship and came to America from Poland, looking for a better life and with their chests full of hope and dreams. When they arrive to Ellis Island, doctors find out that Magda suffers from a lung disease and the two sisters are separated. While Magda is taken away to receive treatment, Ewa was going to be deported if it wasn’t for Bruno (Phoenix), a well-connected man who offered his help, but for a price. He forces her into prostitution and gradually gets impressed with her good nature allied to a determined power of negotiation – ‘I like money but I don’t like you’, she says. The story, evolving slowly and without putting all the energy possible in the scenes, gained some relevance when Bruno’s magician cousin, Amil (Renner), decides to openly demonstrate his true love for Ewa, entering in a competitive dispute with his cousin. Visually rich, using mostly yellowish tones for indoors and a fainted sepia for outdoors, “The Immigrant” was emotionally demotivating, failing to convey passion in its most crucial moments. Cotillard’s performance as sweet and submissive catholic woman who needs to make money to survive, messed a bit with my nerves, while Phoenix wasn’t so brilliant here as in his two last appearances ("The Master", "Her"). Production design and cinematography were outstanding.

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