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View Full Version : The Immigrant (James Gray)



ledfloyd
03-24-2014, 11:15 PM
http://25.media.tumblr.com/72cc8e03fca313c02e711b15fc3c4d 74/tumblr_moyv722Y5V1qihzomo1_500 .jpg

ledfloyd
03-24-2014, 11:17 PM
This is a near masterpiece.

megladon8
03-24-2014, 11:50 PM
James Gray = I'm there.

Can't wait to see this one.

Two Lovers is bloody wonderful.

Izzy Black
03-25-2014, 12:28 AM
This is a near masterpiece.

It is a masterpiece.

Pop Trash
03-25-2014, 01:19 AM
USA release date finally?!

ledfloyd
03-25-2014, 06:19 PM
It is a masterpiece.

Maybe, I'll have to watch it two or three more times.

Izzy Black
03-26-2014, 03:26 AM
Damn right you will. This movie is so good it should earn at least a D+ from Qrazy.

Qrazy
03-27-2014, 01:10 AM
Damn right you will. This movie is so good it should earn at least a D+ from Qrazy.

Long gone are the days of the B-.

Qrazy
03-29-2014, 10:07 PM
Yeah this wasn't good at all, really uninteresting script. Cotillard plays one of her most obnoxious characters to date. Pheonix is surprisingly mediocre. Visually I suppose it's fine but it's basically The Godfather Part II Ellis island sequence stretched to feature length and then mashed up with Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

I guess I'd give it a C.

baby doll
04-08-2014, 06:16 AM
Cotillard plays one of her most obnoxious characters to date.Explain.

Qrazy
04-08-2014, 06:00 PM
Explain.

Her whispery line deliveries grated me.

baby doll
04-09-2014, 08:50 AM
Her whispery line deliveries grated me.I see. I guess I just have a very high tolerance for whispery line deliveries.

As for the movie overall, I thought it was solidly crafted but rarely does it scale the same dramatic heights as We Own the Night (still my favorite of Gray's films).

Izzy Black
04-09-2014, 05:00 PM
As for the movie overall, I thought it was solidly crafted but rarely does it scale the same dramatic heights as We Own the Night (still my favorite of Gray's films).

Interesting.

ledfloyd
04-10-2014, 01:28 PM
We Own the Night is my least favorite Gray film by a fair margin. Of course, I've yet to see Little Odessa.

Izzy Black
04-11-2014, 03:48 PM
For me it's:

1. The Immigrant
2. The Yards
3. Two Lovers
4. We Own the Night
5. Little Odessa

The top 3 are all near equal though, but I love all of his films.

Qrazy
04-11-2014, 05:36 PM
Two Lovers was the best for me. I've only seen this, that and We Own the Night. I guess I should see The Yards.

Izzy Black
04-11-2014, 10:14 PM
You probably won't care much for the story, but I think you'd appreciate the visuals. I think it's among Harris Savides' best work (well, I think it's his best personally).

ledfloyd
04-12-2014, 10:25 PM
The Yards is great. The Yards, The Immigrant, and Two Lovers are on close to equal footing for me, though I'd probably rank them in the reverse order.

Bosco B Thug
05-26-2014, 08:04 AM
Nice, that was wild. It's like the Showgirls of immigrant dramas. A big magnifying-glass story of encompassing scope. Verhoeven's style is more equipped for the old-fashioned naïveté and freedom for ridicule of the material than Gray and his super-tasteful visual language, but it's an alternate means towards similar successful, very wise results. Gray is fully aware of the narrative he employs, and along those terms, the film is truly epic and the screenplay well-constructed in its classical-degree of encompassing dramatic ironies and passionate ethical diatribe.

Qrazy
05-26-2014, 06:43 PM
I would hope that every director is aware of the script they're currently shooting.

Bosco B Thug
05-27-2014, 01:59 AM
I would hope that every director is aware of the script they're currently shooting. And he executes this knowledge with more distinction than others, is the point.

Qrazy
05-27-2014, 07:36 AM
And he executes this knowledge with more distinction than others, is the point.

Which is a fair point but the script is so mediocre that the execution adds little to the final content.

Dillard
06-01-2014, 11:25 PM
Which is a fair point but the script is so mediocre that the execution adds little to the final content.

You're wrong about the script.

Argument:

The script does a beautiful job of building a closed scenario, a scenario in which there is a lot of dread and disgust, and which we figure will play out like a tragedy, and then shifting the script, allowing the characters more autonomy (especially Ewa and Bruno) than we otherwise believed them to have. It is a rare Hollywood film to feature redemption that feels believable and earned in terms of the script. Two scenes featuring powerful monologues help make this redemption work - Ewa explaining herself to her aunt in an attempt to convince her of her goodness and worthiness to receive money from her aunt, and Bruno's final confession with Ewa in which he takes ownership of his many sins, speaking the truth about himself and about Ewa. In the end, Ewa and Bruno grow as characters in surprising ways. The script triumphs in shifting audience expectation to instill greater empathy for our two main characters such that the final shot of the two parting is mingled with a variety of emotions: bittersweetness for the two in parting, relief that Ewa has escaped with her sister, joy that Ewa's kindness and forgiveness has helped unearth Bruno's softer side, sadness for Bruno at the thought that he may never show that side again and remains stuck in his life, etc. In sum: the script is bold and redemptive and features memorable characters.

Qrazy
06-02-2014, 05:54 AM
Ewa is a non-character, about as interesting as watching paint dry. I realize that you wrote in depth and I should respond in kind but I just can't muster enough interest in this particular project to criticize it robustly. Sorry that I am unable to rise to the challenge in this case.

Ivan Drago
06-07-2014, 11:23 PM
This was fucking incredible.

Izzy Black
06-08-2014, 12:43 AM
This was fucking incredible.

:)

Pop Trash
06-09-2014, 03:57 AM
This was fucking incredible.

I concur. This and Under the Skin are the two 'great new films' I've seen this year so far. Interesting that they were both dumped in spring/summer slots which leads me to believe the distributors thought that Oscar voters wouldn't get them (probably true).

On a surface level it's steeped in 70s American cinema (Coppola, Cimino, some Altman esp. McCabe & Mrs. Miller) but it has the big beating moral European heart of Chekhov, Dreyer, Bresson, and the Dardennes. Which, when you think about it, that duality makes total sense considering the confused sense of place these characters exist in.

'The Good Guy' makes a bad choice and 'The Bad Guy' makes a great choice. The self loathing Jew ultimately behaves more Christ-like than the angelic Christian lamb. Nice work.

ledfloyd
06-09-2014, 01:24 PM
Yeah, I don't understand dumping this one at all. You're telling me Harvey can get a Best Picture nom for Philomena, but he can't sell The Immigrant?

Weems
06-10-2014, 01:44 AM
I wasn't taken by it. Cotillard's confessional scene was astounding, Phoenix went off on a high note after a fairly erratic performance, beautiful cinematography, mise-en-scene, score, and an interesting dirgelike atmosphere, but it felt so unremarkable as a narrative. I'd say it's probably Gray's worst film from a non-technical craft standpoint. I think the most vivid error aside from the flat, unoriginal, and dramatically anemic backbone, was the cheaply melodramatic dispatching of Bruno; it felt so ill-developed a turn, and was compounded by his only being an enigma. After finding Two Lovers so fascinating and rich, this was really disappointing.

Stay Puft
06-27-2014, 04:32 AM
Two Lovers is still my favorite by a fair margin, but I thought this was pretty good. The atmosphere leaves a deep, lasting impression, even when I was only sort of engaged by the narrative.

Weems, are you talking about Bruno killing Orlando? Because I'd agree. It also made me think of The Village, because of the players involved. Not really a fair comparison but that's what popped into my head when it happened.

Ezee E
07-06-2014, 05:57 AM
Elegantly crafted, and exquisite performances from Phoenix and Cotillard aside, this movie takes a rather unconvincing, even boring shift when Jeremy Renner enters the movie. He's not particularly bad by any means, I just think the movie takes a dour drop after a well done first act, and never quite recovers.

Watashi
07-06-2014, 09:01 AM
I'll counter E's boring and predictable nay by saying that there is no better working director right now than James Gray. The Immigrant is no exception.

Maybe Mike Leigh.

baby doll
07-06-2014, 02:48 PM
I'll counter E's boring and predictable nay by saying that there is no better working director right now than James Gray. The Immigrant is no exception.

Maybe Mike Leigh.After only five films? Suck on that Bertolucci, Godard, Greenaway, Hou, Jarmusch, Kiarostami, de Oliveira, Polanski, Straub, Varda.

Personally, even among his contemporaries--that is, directors who made their first features in the '90s--I wouldn't rate him as highly as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Bruno Dumont, Todd Haynes, Jia Zhang-ke, Jiang Wen, Jafar Panahi, David O. Russell, Quentin Tarantino, or Tsai Ming-liang (just to rattle off the first ten names that come to mind).

Watashi
07-06-2014, 03:47 PM
Yes baby doll, we know you love listing directors when given the opportunity.

Ezee E
07-07-2014, 05:01 PM
Maybe he makes a list of top twenty, but certainly not top ten.

FWIW, I am a huge fan of Two Lovers and We Own The Night.

Put a new Coen, Spielberg, Gray, or Bird film in front of Watashi. Let's see what he truly picks.

yawn.

Watashi
07-07-2014, 05:35 PM
Maybe he makes a list of top twenty, but certainly not top ten.

FWIW, I am a huge fan of Two Lovers and We Own The Night.

Put a new Coen, Spielberg, Gray, or Bird film in front of Watashi. Let's see what he truly picks.

yawn.

Spielberg? You mean that dude who made War Horse? Yawn.

Qrazy
07-07-2014, 09:46 PM
Yes baby doll, we know you love listing directors when given the opportunity.

Personally, out of all the kinds of listing there are I'd have to say that I wouldn't rate listing directors as highly as listing say fruit or types of rocks or dogs or trombones (just to name a few types of listing that come to mind).

Izzy Black
07-08-2014, 02:50 PM
After only five films? Suck on that Bertolucci, Godard, Greenaway, Hou, Jarmusch, Kiarostami, de Oliveira, Polanski, Straub, Varda.

Several of these would make my all time list, but in terms of working directors today, there are several other directors making much stronger films these days. Godard is always important and interesting, but for me, he doesn't get top 10 consideration based on his recent work. Although he would certainly get top 10 consideration all time based on his overall career. My criteria would be something like this: which director working today has been making the most interesting films of the past couple of decades?


Personally, even among his contemporaries--that is, directors who made their first features in the '90s--I wouldn't rate him as highly as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Bruno Dumont, Todd Haynes, Jia Zhang-ke, Jiang Wen, Jafar Panahi, David O. Russell, Quentin Tarantino, or Tsai Ming-liang (just to rattle off the first ten names that come to mind).

Here's how James Gray ranks for me.

Top 10 working Anglophone directors

1. James Gray
2. Terrence Malick
3. Michael Mann
4. Sofia Coppola
5. Harmony Korine
6. Jonathan Glazer
7. Richard Linklater
8. Alfonso Cuarón
9. Sarah Polley
10. Quentin Tarantino

HM: Arnold, Bujalski, Ferrara, Jarmush, Holofcener, Scorsese, Lee, Allen, McQueen, Wiseman, Baumbach, Stillman, Armstrong

Top 10 in the world

1. Claire Denis
2. Hou Hsiao-hsien
3. Chantal Akerman
4. James Gray
5. Terrence Malick
6. Leos Carax
7. Sharunas Bartas
8. Wong Kar-wai
9. Lars von Trier
10. Michael Haneke

A few more HM: Dumont, Costa, Godard, Diaz, Grandrieux, Assayas, Weerasethakul, Strelyanaya, Reygadas, Breillat, Mungiu, Petzold, Kiarostami, Arslan, and Hong, but Haynes, Jia, Jiang, Jatar, Russell, and Tsai wouldn't even crack my top 30. So much for that. Wes Anderson wouldn't crack my anything. PTA is up there, he might be top 20 American/Anglophone, but not really anywhere high worldwide.

In other words, Watashi wasn't really off base for me. I totally sympathize, especially since Akerman, although she made one of her best films two years ago, it's hard to say how long it will be before she makes another, or if she even does, which would move Gray up to the #3 spot worldwide for me. So yeah, I'm with you Watashi.

baby doll
07-08-2014, 03:41 PM
Godard is always important and interesting, but for me, he doesn't get top 10 consideration based on his recent work. Although he would certainly get top 10 consideration all time based on his overall career. My criteria would be something like this: which director working today has been making the most interesting films of the past couple of decades?What's not to love about late Godard? In comparison, most other directors just don't seem to be working very hard.

Izzy Black
07-08-2014, 04:06 PM
I really like late Godard, but I just think the directors I mentioned have been making better films. Consequently, I think comparatively directors are working quite hard.

Gittes
07-12-2014, 04:50 AM
Pheonix is surprisingly mediocre.

The self-flagellation near the end, shot in profile, where Phoenix's face seems to undergo monstrous contortions, and he unleashes that anguished paroxysm of regret and self-loathing, is extraordinary. It's a moment of immense devastation and performative magnetism. In that instance, the film forcefully secures a place within the pantheon of special and indelible movie moments. It's as far away from mediocre as you can get.

dreamdead
08-26-2014, 04:42 PM
This one never quite quite came together for me--wonderful art direction and visual design, but the characters aren't especially compelling, and various plot mechanisms feel too much a part of this world (the other woman witnessing the murder especially, Ewa as a perverted Statue of Liberty). I love the idea of doing a study on the immigrant tradition in America in the 1920s, as Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers is a favorite of mine, but this film too quickly pushes Ewa into prostitution without ever suggesting that she consider, even if she ultimately dismisses, sewing work or the like available to women at slave-labor conditions.

The film has a staid nature that both serves it well visually and keep a bit flat, but that final shot--with each party heading to their separate fates, is a marvel. Ultimately, just a little too underwhelmed by the characters to get behind as others have.

Qrazy
08-26-2014, 04:50 PM
The self-flagellation near the end, shot in profile, where Phoenix's face seems to undergo monstrous contortions, and he unleashes that anguished paroxysm of regret and self-loathing, is extraordinary. It's a moment of immense devastation and performative magnetism. In that instance, the film forcefully secures a place within the pantheon of special and indelible movie moments. It's as far away from mediocre as you can get.

Nah, that whole character arc is lame and thus the moment is rendered inconsequential. I prefer his facial spasming at the end of Two Lovers when he realizes he won't get what he desires.

quido8_5
08-29-2014, 09:04 AM
Nah, that whole character arc is lame and thus the moment is rendered inconsequential. I prefer his facial spasming at the end of Two Lovers when he realizes he won't get what he desires.

True. But can we at least agree that the final shot is either totally on-point or completely on-the-nose, depending on how one feels about the film? I tend to agree with Mitty, although I think Grey knew a little too well that it was an indelible moment.

Izzy Black
08-29-2014, 09:15 AM
Yeah, for those of us who don't think the character is lame and flat, it's a beautiful moment.

Qrazy
08-29-2014, 09:08 PM
True. But can we at least agree that the final shot is either totally on-point or completely on-the-nose, depending on how one feels about the film? I tend to agree with Mitty, although I think Grey knew a little too well that it was an indelible moment.

Sure, agreed.

SirNewt
01-27-2015, 07:15 AM
The pivot is good but the movie takes too long to pivot.

Grouchy
02-16-2015, 05:29 AM
What are you guys going on about? This film is incredible. I remember a really well written article about a year ago that argued that Gray is part of a dying group of filmmakers who combine large budgets and prestige filmmaking with serious, challenging themes. Immigrant pretty much proves that article exactly right.

I just don't understand how anyone can say Ewa is a non-character or find her annoying. Hell, truth be told, the only character I found annoying from a personal standpoint is Renner's. Everyone else I understood completely to the point where I didn't know who to root for, which is something that only happens in really good drama.