In The Immigrant, Marion Cotillard plays Ewa, a Polish woman whose American Dream is hijacked almost as soon as she lands on Ellis Island in 1921. All alone, she’s threatened with deportation until she’s rescued by Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) — a schemer as dastardly as Pinocchio‘s Stromboli, who forces her into a hard life of servitude and prostitution.
Bruno’s cousin, a magician named Orlando (Jeremy Renner), offers Ewa a ray of hope. And in this exclusive clip from the film, Orlando demonstrates a feat as wondrous as the American Dream itself — as long as you’re willing to ignore the tricks that make the illusion possible.
Director James Gray (We Own the Night) based the film in part on the hard-luck immigrant tales his grandparents told him when he was a child. “One of the funnier things I read in the research I was doing was, an immigrant was asked, ‘How do you feel about America?’ He said, ‘Well, they told me the streets were paved with gold. But I didn’t realize that the streets wouldn’t be paved at all, and I would be the one who needed to do the paving,’” says Gray.
Click below for the clip from the film, which opens May 16, and an extensive Q&A with Gray. READ FULL STORY