“The Immigrant” opened Chicago’s 49th International Film Festival last October.
Marion Cotillard, with a face to launch a thousand films, could not salvage “The Immigrant” a movie with a big heart, and inconsequential spine; Ellis Island, 1921; “Ewa” (Cotillard) a Polish immigrant (dazzling command of the Polish language) is separated from her sister, rescued by “Bruno Weiss” (implausible Joaquin Phoenix) a volatile “savior” who uses Ewa for nefarious, illegal purposes. The film flounders, drowns in melodrama, benign character development and horrific editing. Jeremy Renner, miscast as “Orlando” a magician, instantly smitten by Ewa’s ethereal countenance, is laughable; ridiculous, flimsy imitation of the “Emcee” (incomparable Joel Grey) in “Cabaret” or a lamentable “Howdy Doody”.
Woefully, “The Immigrant” instead of reflecting a valid story that informed so many of our ancestors, suffocates in superficiality.