Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Andy Serkis' Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character Revealed
Meet Supreme Leader Snoke. Well, sort of...
Rick Baker Retires
Special effects legend bigs farewell to Hollywood
Henry Cavill Exits Stratton
Simon West's action-thriller needs a new lead
Will Forte Signs Up For Keanu
Joining forces with Key & Peele and Method Man
Joe Wright May Jump Into The Lifeboat
He's in talks to direct Anne Hathaway in a novel adaptation
New Ant-Man Poster Dodges Bullets Online
Heroes don't get any bigger
Podcast #163: Simon Pegg
Manupmanship
Exclusive Point Break Featurette
Meet the daredevils behind the movie's scenes
Vin Diesel Teases New York As Fast & Furious 8's Main Locale
Big trouble in the Big Apple?
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
26 May 2015
Tomorrowland Spoiler Special - Brad Bird And Damon Lindelof
Welcome to the land... of tomorrow!
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Macbeth
02 October 2015
Bill
21 August 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Last Knights (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Rigor Mortis (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Kill The Messenger (2015)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2013: The Immigrant Initial Reaction
Cannes 2013: The Immigrant Initial Reaction
James Gray's latest gets a deportation order

24 May 2013  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit

the immigrant james gray

James Gray has been a fixture in Cannes since The Yards in 2000, much to the bemusement of UK press who fail to see why he is so consistently invited. His latest, The Immigrant, is by far the least of all the films he's submitted, being a very plain melodrama that could have come from the Hallmark Channel if it weren't for its triumvirate of Oscar-nominated leads. Though it's safe to say the Golden Globes will find places at the dinner table for Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner and Marion Cotillard, Gray's latest is a middlebrow period piece that crawls along at a snail's pace and won't find too much favour at the box office.

It begins in the early ’20s, with the Polish Sonya (Cotillard) and her consumptive sister lining up on Ellis Island, hoping to be granted American citizenship. The sister is taken to hospital for examination and Sonya is refused entry, on the grounds that she may be a “loose woman”, but a kindly stranger, Bruno (Phoenix), takes her in and gives her a bed. Bruno, it turns out, runs an illegal strip club in Manhattan that doubles as a brothel, and Sonya is appalled. Nevertheless, she needs money to pay for her sister's hospital treatment and reluctantly does what Bruno asks of her.
 
To say how Renner's dancing magician Orlando enters the frame would spoil what little there is that's surprising about the film, but The Immigrant soon becomes an unlikely love triangle: unlikely, since the characters are so very unloveable. There is no chemistry whatsoever – because the writing doesn't call for any – and although Phoenix starts out promisingly as a charming but devious pimp, the spark never becomes a flame. What's left is the excellent cinematography and production design, which leaves one thinking not of simmering passions but all the mottled, muddy-brown wallpaper.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Tom Cruise Drops Out Of Man From U.N.C.L.E.
He wants to focus on the new Mission: Impossible
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

Your Comments

RE: Typo or just plainly inaccurate?
Relevant username is relevant More

Posted by UTB at 04:14 on 28 May 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Typo or just plainly inaccurate?
Swell? More

Posted by DancingClown at 23:12 on 27 May 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Typo or just plainly inaccurate?
Right, that's swell that you've seen it. But how can we trust your opinion - when you even get basic facts wrong? More

Posted by themoviejerk at 21:32 on 27 May 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Typo or just plainly inaccurate?
I can assure you I did see The Immigrant. Seeing up to five films a day and posting to short deadlines, details sometimes blur. More

Posted by Damon_Wise at 15:40 on 25 May 2013 | Report This Post

Typo or just plainly inaccurate?
I happened to see The Immigrant in Cannes - and I can't help but notice a certain mistake in this article. Cotillard's character isn't called Sonya but Ewa Cybulski, and she's not Ukranian but Polish. It makes me begin to wonder whether this critic has actually seen the film. More

Posted by themoviejerk at 10:22 on 25 May 2013 | Report This Post

How does this guy get to keep making movies?
And with big stars, too. I don't know what Joaquin Phoenix sees in him. Strangely I've seen both The Yards and We Own The Night, and both have been the most boring, lifeless pieces of work I've laid eyes on. More

Posted by Madhava at 13:33 on 24 May 2013 | Report This Post


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Classic Feature: The Change-Up
High-concept interview where Jason becomes Ryan and vice versa. Hilarity ensues

A Guide To Rick Baker: Monster Maker
Bidding farewell to a visual effects legend

Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)