A film by James Gray.
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner.
It is 1921 and yes the American dream is around the corner for Ewa Cybulska (Marion Cotillard) and her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan) sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Magda must go to the hospital on Ellis Island. Ewa was going to get deported but she begged a man to help her and he did well sort of. Bruno (Joaquin Phonix) a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution a way to make money so she can get her sister out of the hospital (well there were no medical insurance back then. ) Ewa encounters Bruno’s cousin and gets taken by him he on the other hand is falling for her. Ewa is Polish and Catholic, and her religion gives her the strength to meet any and all difficulties. Bruno is a low rent stage artist/pimp who scoop Ewa up to use her but he his in love with her . Those emotion runs through him and he can’t control nor express them. Bruno has no self worth and no sense of direction in his life I don’t think he likes himself. Bad things happen to Ewa, she always has her religion and her pride to get her through, but Bruno, has nothing. They are trying to reach out to each other and that is the heart of this drama. This film period of the 1920’s in New York is done in dark color with display of light and shadow like the old movies back in the 30’s 40’s. Slowly Ewa gets tougher and tougher plus like I said she has this will power that will not go away and her sister on her mind. The men can have her body but can’t get to her no one will have her soul. She has one thing in mind get the money to get the money to get her sister out and go somewhere else to get a fresh start and be happy. Think about it you are waking up in Prague in a poor part of the town you have no wallet no ID no working paper and no money. Fear set in and the one thing on your mind at all the time is how I am going to get out of this situation where is my next meal will come from, where am I going to sleep tonight. fear will continue to set in until you’ll find a way out. That is how Marion played it. Perfect cast for this one and great performance from them all. It is still going today where immigrant get in a country and fall in the hand a bad people. Great film. See it.