6.6/10
26,035
78 user 238 critic

The Immigrant (2013)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

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.

Director:

James Gray

Writers:

James Gray, Ric Menello (as Richard Menello)
15 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Two Lovers (2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Brooklyn-set romantic drama about a bachelor torn between the family friend his parents wish he would marry and his beautiful but volatile new neighbor.

Director: James Gray
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A New York City nightclub manager tries to save his brother and father from Russian Mafia hitmen.

Director: James Gray
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes
The Yards (2000)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: James Gray
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron
Little Odessa (1994)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Early 1990s drama about a family of Soviet Jews living in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach ocean-side neighborhood nicknamed Little Odessa.

Director: James Gray
Stars: Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Moira Kelly
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The lives of two families change forever after a fatal tragedy takes place on Reservation Road.

Director: Terry George
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A tormented philosophy professor finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey
Rust and Bone (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marion Cotillard ... Ewa Cybulska
Joaquin Phoenix ... Bruno Weiss
Jeremy Renner ... Orlando the Magician / Emil
Dagmara Dominczyk ... Belva
Jicky Schnee ... Clara
Elena Solovey ... Rosie Hertz (as Yelena Solovey)
Maja Wampuszyc ... Edyta Bistricky
Ilia Volok ... Wojtek Bistricky
Angela Sarafyan ... Magda Cybulska
Antoni Corone ... Customs Officer Thomas MacNally
Patrick Husted ... Priest
Patrick Holden O'Neill ... Leo Straub (as Patrick O'Neill)
Sam Tsoutsouvas Sam Tsoutsouvas ... Oskar Straub
Robert Clohessy ... Immigration Official
Adam Rothenberg ... Officer DeKeiffer
Edit

Storyline

1921. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulska and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, she quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, Ewa encounters Bruno's cousin, the debonair magician Orlando. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself. Written by Wild Bunch

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Polish | Latin

Release Date:

23 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lowlife See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,064, 16 May 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,013,456, 2 July 2014

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,867,686, 29 June 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In June 2012, The Weinstein Company acquired U.S. distribution rights. Though the film was completed in time for 2012's Toronto Film Festival, The Weinstein Company insisted on holding it until Cannes 2013, with Harvey Weinstein hoping he could convince the director to change the ending. James Gray didn't change the ending and the film was only released in the U.S. in 2014. See more »

Goofs

The famous opera singer Enrico Caruso did sing at Ellis Island, but not in February 1921. Carusos's last performance was in late December 1920, after which his health deteriorated. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ewa Cybulska: [standing in line at Ellis Island speaking Polish] We're almost there.
Magda Cybulska: [coughing]
Ewa Cybulska: The doctors are looking, try to hold it in. You're just nervous. That brings it on. Try to close your ears and say a prayer, to the Mother of God.
Magda Cybulska: I will.
Ewa Cybulska: We'll find Aunt Edyta soon, and we'll be safe. We'll be together. We'll make our own families, have lots of children.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AOL Build: Episode dated 9 December 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay
Written by Henry J. Sayers
Performed by Bruno's stage women while practicing a rehearsal
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cotillard, Phoenix and Renner in the land of opportunity.
25 March 2014 | by Ser_Stephen_SeaworthSee all my reviews

James Gray's latest tale of melancholic woe and spirits in emotional turmoil takes us back to when America was the land of opportunity for the tired, poor, huddled masses. The director's fifth feature is once again centered in New York, where past entries like "Little Odessa" and "Two Lovers" took place, but "The Immigrant" takes us back ninety years, putting a classical spin on his typical tale.

Though it's lensed with a soft focus emphasis that lends the film a dreamlike patina, "The Immigrant" doesn't shy away from scratching below the scabbed surface of the American dream, even in the first scene. The Cybalska sisters, Ewa and Magda, are among the many crowded in line at Ellis Island in 1921, waiting to be welcomed into America (through the rigorous immigration process that shows that getting into the States was just as difficult then as it is now). The elder Ewa (Marion Cotillard, whose haunting beauty and old-school look made her the perfect casting) is a former Polish nurse who tries to advise her sickly younger sister to look well, but unfortunately, Magda is consumptive and kept in isolation from the other immigrants. Ewa herself is corralled when she is suspected of being "a woman of low morals," but before she can be deported, she is "rescued" by a man named Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix, also perfectly era-appropriate), who trawls the immigration station in hopes of picking up potential new additions to his troupe.

For you see, Weiss runs a burlesque show made almost entirely of young foreign ladies who escaped the ravages of the Great War to seek their fortunes here. But he takes a special kindle to Ewa, who nevertheless finds herself disliking her new livelihood and employer. Despite his rather sad-sack pursuit of Ewa's affections, Bruno still pimps her out to rich patrons. It may seem very von Trier-esque, but indeed this was not uncommon in the Big Apple back then. Yet Ewa refuses to be downtrodden, even though she has convinced herself that she is a condemned woman (referenced in a crucial scene in a Catholic confessional). She even flees from Bruno's employ at one point, only to end up back where she started in Ellis Island . . . and who is waiting to bail her out by Weiss again?

There is, however, a glimmer of hope for Ewa, in the form of a dashing Houdini-esque magician named Orlando. Played with relaxed charm and verve by Jeremy Renner, Orlando makes a perfect foil for Phoenix's Bruno. Orlando would traditionally be the hero of this story who gets the girl in the end, but James Gray is not interested in telling a traditional tale, even if he has taken many tropes from older works. Orlando's presence presents its own problems for Ewa, and the brewing conflict among the three central characters affects her most of all.

And Gray certainly lucked out in casting Cotillard; the actress knows how to convey a soliloquy's worth of emotion with a single glance, and Cotillard's mournful, ethereal presence is used in full force here. Her dialogue is minimal, mainly reactionary save for her confessional, and yet she says more in this performance to express her situation than Cate Blanchett did in "Blue Jasmine" could with all of her broad rhapsodizing (no disrespect meant to Cate). Cotillard has played in this era before, and the fact that she has the throwback beauty that would've made her a star even in the silent days makes her presence in this film all the more soulful. (Also, full props on the French actress mastering the Polish accent, even whilst speaking the language!)

But Cotillard doesn't have to do the heavy lifting alone. Joaquin Phoenix, who's worked with Gray three times before this, continues to show why he may be the premier actor of his generation. Bruno Weiss seems to be a self-loathing man who just can't bring himself to play the hero in the traditional sense, resorting only to the shady and seedy in order to get ahead in life. Phoenix does a fine job of showing that there is a great depth to Bruno, and we sympathize with the schmuck; he works well on the stage, but when the curtains are drawn, he's at sea. Jeremy Renner, who came very close to playing the role that Phoenix made instantly iconic in "The Master", has a fantastic presence and works very well against both Joaquin and Marion. One does hope that Gray works with him in the future, hopefully in a leading part to take full advantage of his talent.

"The Immigrant" may rest mostly on its trinity of actors' shoulders, but it is a rich experience thanks to Gray's operatic direction, which feels like an homage to the days of both Chaplin and Coppola. I do find it to be an almost incomplete film, as I feel its ending felt more like a respite than a true completion. Perhaps it's due to the fact that I feel Gray could do so much more in this era, and tell more of this woman's story. But as it stands, I find "The Immigrant" to be a fine film with a great deal to say, and it acts as a beautiful showcase for Cotillard.


56 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 78 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed