Rated: R for sexual content, nudity and some language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: May 16, 2014 Released by: The Weinstein Company
James Gray's first film since Two Lovers is suffused with raw, penetrating realism even if a restrictive style limits emotional or thematic windfalls.
The Immigrant stars Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone, The Dark Knight Rises), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Her) and Jeremy Renner (American Hustle, Marvel's The Avengers).
Cotillard, who learned Polish for her titular part Ewa, follows the unconventional director's lead in channeling a detailed portrait of survival.
Along with sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan), Ewa sails to New York City with the hopes of experience the chance of prosperity and success in America.
However, at Ellis Island life turns bleak for Ewa in Manhattan when the sudden illness of Magda has doctors quarantining her. In her anxiety and pain in wanting to be with her sister, Ewa is drawn into the orbit of a vicious, but charismatic Bruno (Phoenix) and takes on a whorish existence.
A distinctive tale proves again that Gray can get solid, dutiful efforts from his accomplished, estimable cast as the chance to escape much disquietude comes ironically in the form of Bruno's stage magician cousin, Orlando (a mustached Renner).
As the popular abroad director works effectively with his craft contributors to establish a cogent setting in the Lower East Side, the well-delineated relationship have spurts of palpable, deep emotion. And, the Oscar-winning Gallic thespian comes through with dignity and grace in representing the plight of abandonment and optimism which oddly can result from it.