As anyone who's seen The Godfather, Part II knows, for turn-of-the-century immigrants in New York, life was often dark and very, very brown. Writer-director James Gray returns us to that so umber world with The Immigrant, a historical drama starring Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Renner, and Gray's frequent collaborator Joaquin Phoenix. Cotillard plays the title role, that of a Polish woman attempting to enter the U.S. with her sister. Sis gets turned away with a nagging cough, and our desperate The Immigrant is left turning to Joaquin Phoenix, a well-connected man who promises to help but also wants her to become a prostitute. Renner plays his cousin, a local magician/white knight.
This trailer makes it all look pretty bleak, but then you remember how rotten our current immigration debate is, and then it doesn't seem so bad.