1921. An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.
In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he ... See full summary »
Leonard Kraditor is a burned-out case, living with his immigrant parents after his fiancée left him, helping out at their Brooklyn dry cleaners, taking photographs, at loose ends, suicidal. In quick succession, he meets two women: Sandra, the daughter of his parents' business associates, frank, direct, sensual, Jewish like Leonard; and, his neighbor Michelle, mercurial, rootless, fun, blond, unattainable. Michelle is in love with a married man and cries on Leonard's shoulder; Sandra wants to save him. Is Leonard willing to risk losing Sandra's fidelity for the moments Michelle's moods swing toward him? Can this end well? Written by
The role of Michelle was written with Gwyneth Paltrow in mind. James Gray actually credits Paltrow with inspiring him to write the script, as he met her at a party and she lamented that all his movies were too masculine, so he wrote this to prove her wrong. See more »
When Michelle is lying in bed with Ronald sitting next to her and asking what happened, she asks him to leave and turns on her right side in a close-up shot. In the next room-wide shot, she has suddenly returned to her back, and after he has left the next close-up shows her on her side again. See more »
This is an outstanding movie. I believed in the characters, all of whom were presented sympathetically - unique for a movie like this. The characters are not stereotypes, and behave in ways that while natural are not expected. It is also a very romantic movie. The acting is excellent. In particular Joaquin Phoenix is terrific. He plays what should be an impossible role - instead, he is completely natural and right. The actress who plays the mother is perfect - and the character is also a remarkable one. The movie really stayed with me - in a good way. I thought about it for a long time after it was over. I recommend it very highly.
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