In 1921, Polish immigrant Ewa Cybulska (Marion Cotillard) is separated from her sister and taken in by a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who prostitutes her… but also falls in love. Director James Gray has made several exciting films set in New York City, but this is his most personal as it is based on the immigrant experiences of his ancestors. The story may sound terribly depressing, but it isn’t really; Gray gives it plenty of nuance and makes it possible for us to understand Phoenix’s character. A sorrowful reminder of the reality for some immigrants at that time, effectively photographed and boosted by a tremendous Cotillard performance.
2014-U.S. 117 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by James Gray. Screenplay: James Gray, Richard Menello. Cinematography: Darius Khondji. Cast: Marion Cotillard (Ewa Cybulska), Joaquin Phoenix (Bruno Weiss), Jeremy Renner (Orlando/Emil), Dagmara Dominczyk, Jicky Schnee, Yelena Solovey.