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  • Benjamin Maio Mackay

The Immigrant - 4 Stars

This powerful, emotional movie is character driven and certainly packs a punch!


In 1921 Catholic Polish woman Ewa and her sister Magda arrive at Ellis Island (New York City) as immigrants looking for a better life after escaping their r in post–Great War Poland. Magda is quarantined because of her lung disease. Ewa is almost deported, but Bruno notices her and her fluency in English and bribes an officer to let her go. Bruno takes Ewa to his house. Knowing that Ewa has to make money to get Magda out, Bruno lets her dance at the Bandits' Roost theater and become a prostitute.


The movie directed by James Gray is stunning. Writers Ric Menello and James Gray have perfectly captured this sad story and made it emotionally intense. Cinematographer Darius Khondji manages to draw you in to the film, even in the small instances where the story drags a little.


The real gems of this movie are the 3 lead cast members, who carry this dramatic piece. Marion Cotillard plays Ewa and delivers the performance of a lifetime. She clever uses her face to show the character’s progression over the film and it is clear how much effort she put into the role. Joaquin Phoenix plays a very two-faced character and he seamlessly switches sides, there are times when you love him and times when you loathe him. Jeremy Renner has the simplest character of the three, but he still plays the role with depth and meaning. He is only in a few scenes, but steals every second he is on screen.


Overall this is a powerful and emotionally intense film, the script is strong and there is amazing cinematography. The leading cast carry the film and all three are superb. While this only has limited release I do encourage you to seek it out!


4 Stars

Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay

Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas

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