April 18, 2015

New life

The Immigrant (James Gray, 2013). Old stories retold as though the base material of the immigrant experience is melodrama purified by time and distance. Unusually, Joaquin Phoenix is never quite right in it (less unusually, neither is Jeremy Renner). But this is a Marion Cotillard vehicle, and a better one for her even than Two Days, One Night to which it almost seems related: she is defiant, frail, sorrowful, haunted, even holy (see above). The thing looks ravishing too with its shooting by Darius Khondji and its obvious and intended Godfather Part II/Once Upon a Time in America richness. The yellow light of history and a cold, brown city.