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NYFF: James Gray Talks 'The Immigrant,' Joaquin Phoenix Doesn't (Q & A VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 8, 2013 at 8:01PM

James Gray's "The Immigrants" is one of those films where you feel that all the energy went into slavishly recreating the period; you leave humming the sets. At the press conference (see video below), Gray had to do all the talking, as Joaquin Phoenix was there to lend moral support but not much else.
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Cotillard and Phoenix in 'The Immigrant'
Cotillard and Phoenix in 'The Immigrant'
James Gray
James Gray

I finally caught up with James Gray's "The Immigrant" at the New York Film Festival. (TOH reviewed it at Cannes, where it met a mixed response.) I have appreciated the New York filmmaker's work in the past, especially "Two Lovers," one of four of Gray's films to star Joaquin Phoenix. 

But this handsome production, despite solid acting from French star Marion Cotillard as a lovely Polish emigre who is caught in a tug-of-war between a lower east side whoremonger (Phoenix) and a magician (Jeremy Renner), does not satisfy. There's too little narrative to hang onto; the script is listless and repetitive. This is one of those films where you feel that all the energy went into slavishly recreating the 1920s New York milieu; you leave humming the sets. 

At the NYFF press conference (see video below), Gray had to do all the talking, as Phoenix seemed to be there to lend moral support but not much else. The Weinstein Co. has not announced an official release date in 2014.

Part One: The Origins

Part Two: The Look

Part Three: The Story

Part Four: Film vs. Digital

This article is related to: The Immigrant, James Gray, James Gray, Joaquin Phoenix, New York Film Festival, Festivals


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