2013 (MIFF 2014)

Director: James Gray

"James Gray’s dramatization of an obscure corner of America’s immigration story is a revelation of lost time." – The New Yorker

1921. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulski (Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night, MIFF 2014) and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. The two women are separated and Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, she soon falls prey to Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution.

One day Bruno’s cousin, the debonair magician Orlando (Jeremy Renner), arrives and sweeps Ewa off her feet, quickly becoming her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.

Featuring a richly textured visual palette from DOP Darius Khondji and outstanding performances from the three leads, The Immigrant further explores James Gray’s obsession with social class, as played out in a New York City setting very different to his previous films, including Two Lovers, We Own the Night and Little Odessa.

"The picture might be considered an ode to the way movies used to be, not just in terms of look and style but in the way they'd unfold before us, unashamed of teasing out deep, raw feeling." – Village Voice

Read our Critics Campus review.

See also...


James Gray brings serenity, soul and splendour to this real-life El Dorado adventure, assisted by a magnificent cast featuring Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and an unrecognisable Robert Pattinson. ...... More »

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