Flash Movie Review: The Immigrant

I wish it was not the case but I cast a cynical eye towards a kind gesture from a stranger these days. Where I first noticed a change had taken place over me was when I used to travel to Georgia. People were saying thank you for the simplest things, besides opening doors for each other. I realized I had not seen such actions for a long time. Then there were incidents I witnessed that began altering my perceptions. I used to know someone who was always eager to share their recipes with anyone who asked for them, but would leave out one small item from the list of ingredients. During my daily commute I cannot remember the last time someone slowed down to let me pull into traffic or merge into another lane due to construction. It seems as if people are becoming more isolated and protective of their surroundings. I partially understand it because of all the news that gets reported on Ponzi schemes, fake charities and internet scams. Last summer I answered the knock at my front door and there was a high schooler who was selling discounted subscriptions for the local newspapers. Yep, you are right; I gave him $20.00 but never saw a single newspaper. Life is hard and I would say it is partially due to the modern world we live in; however, one only has to look at history to see it is not a modern phenomenon. You could also see a horrifying example in this Cannes Film Festival nominated drama. Set in the early 1920s Ewa Cybulska and her sister Magda, played by Marion Cotillard (Contagion, The Dark Knight Rises) and Angela Sarafyan (Paranoia, Love Hurts), traveled from Poland to America to start a new life. During processing at Ellis Island Magda was quarantined, leaving Ewa to fend for herself on the streets of New York City. She had to rely on the kindness of strangers and Bruno Weiss, played by Joaquin Phoenix (Her, Walk the Line), was eager to welcome and help her. Marion Cotillard was made to do this romantic mystery movie. Her eyes alone could have done all the talking for her, she was mesmerizing. The story was filled with many opportunities to create a powerful piece; however, it never gelled for me. I did not believe Joaquin’s character, finding his performance odd. It really was a shame because the sets and scenes were beautifully appointed. Jeremy Renner (American Hustle, The Town) was a welcomed addition to the story playing the magician Emil. I wish I could offer a kind gesture to this film by giving it a higher rating but truthfully it does not warrant it.


2 2/3 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on May 30, 2014, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

    • As far as I have been able to see, this was not based on a true story. Though once you see the film you can only imagine some of the scenes had to have happened in real life.

  1. I often have problems with Joaquin Phoenix´s performances too. I can´t put my finger on it somehow.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I thought Joaquin was wonderful in Her, but the script was a big plus in that performance. Here in this movie, the script did not help him.

  2. I saw the film a few days ago, but didn’t review it… because Idiot Renner was in it. I try to see anything that Phoenix is in, though I consider him to be slightly annoying & Cotillard is always exemplary, in my opinion.
    The film was a Debbie Downer, I could barely sit through it, but I had to see what happened to the Cotillard’s perpetual victim character. Have I said how much I despise Renner the Fraud? Even glancing at him makes me want to take a shower. Slimy, chinless thing.
    Liked your review. You were more than generous to the movie.
    I would say, if someone is looking for a motive to shoot themselves in the head; just watch this movie.

    • I have to say I am so glad you did not hold back in your comments. lol It was disappointing that this movie did not yield a dramatic, all encompassing story. Thanks again for your comments; I always appreciate your views.

  3. Funny, I usually don’t read reviews because they confuse me, I never know what it is they are trying to say, but I really enjoy yours.

    • Well thank you so much. I try to give the least amount of information about the movie’s story, so each individual can experience the film in their own way. Hopefully I can surprise you from time to time.

  4. wonderful review and reflection!
    the causes and conditions that make society social
    clearly have eroded.
    it’s important to notice and speak out for brotherhood and sisterhood
    and protecting the environment as numbers of people increase 🙂

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