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.
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
The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2013, but it was only released in US on May 16, 2014. Although the film didn't have much promotion in US, it over-performed at the box office and grossed $2 million in limited release two months after the film had leaked on the internet. Despite the good box office numbers, the film wasn't given a wide release. The Weinstein Company gave preference to Begin Again (2014), which was released in over a thousand theaters, against The Immigrant's 150 theaters. See more »
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 »
[standing in line at Ellis Island speaking Polish]
We're almost there.
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.
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 »
The Immigrant isn't bad, but I didn't like it very much
The Immigrant tells us a devastating story, which simultaneously denounces the fallacy of "American dream" and confirms the indomitable spirit of the immigrants who forged the cultural and economical basis of that country. The performances are excellent, the characters are complex, and the cinematography captures the reality of the historical period with a raw beauty. However, I didn't like this film very much, mainly because it didn't make me feel anything, despite all the drama and personal tragedy it displays. The unfortunate experiences the main character lives are mortifying, and unfortunately, they might have been very common in the time in which this movie is set (also nowadays, thinking it well); but for some reason, The Immigrant isn't made with enough passion for us to plunge into the main character's experiences, and it doesn't have a concrete point besides of being a sample book of human suffering which should have been touching, but it isn't. Having said that, I think my opinion about The Immigrant is in the minority, considering all the acclamation this film has received around the world. However, this doesn't mean I couldn't find positive elements in this film, such as the brilliant performances. Marion Cotillard perfectly transmits vulnerability and resistance at the same time. The great Joaquin Phoenix brings a predictably amazing work as the opportunist Bruno, and Jeremy Renner brings a warm and sensitive attitude which totally adjusts to his character. I think that those three performances are enough reason to make The Immigrant worthy of a slight recommendation, with the hope that other spectators will appreciate the emotions and narrative honesty I wasn't able to find.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?