Review: ‘The Immigrant’ 6.4.14

A nice period piece by James Grey (‘Little Odessa’, ‘The Yards’, ‘We Own The Night’, ‘Two Lovers’) that depicts a young Polish woman who arrives on Ellis Island in NYC in the early 1920’s. Upon arriving to customs, she is labeled as having “low morale”, and it is decided she should be deported back. Only to be saved by an entrepreneur (played by the always superb Joaquin Phoenix, who Grey has included in 4 out of his 5 films, in yet what might be “another” award nominated performance). I won’t go into much greater detail on the plot, as I will allow you to see it for yourself, but what I will say is it is about as about as accurate of a portrayal from what I know about American history, into the plight of immigrants who made their way into this country, in hopes of finding a “better” life, only to face adversity under a classist and Capitalist society. Marion Cotillard is mesmerizing as always, as is Jeremy Renner in a great supporting turn (and maybe his best role since ‘The Hurt Locker’). Including lush cinematography and lavish costume design. This is one for fans of slowly unfolding, period piece, social dramas. Even if at times it felt like it unfloded a little too slow. But even despite that, I would encourage you to see it if merely for the fact that it was a showcase for the above 3 fine actors.

Grade: B

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