THE IMMIGRANT
2013, The Weinstein Company, 120 min, USA, Dir: James Gray

This Palme d'Or nominee from director James Gray was largely inspired by his grandparents’ experiences coming to America in 1923. Marion Cotillard stars as Ewa, a Polish immigrant whose sister is quarantined when the two arrive at Ellis Island. Desperate to help her sister, Ewa soon is caught between small-time pimp Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) and his cousin, Emil (Jeremy Renner). Outstanding performances and striking cinematography (by Darius Khondji) bring the period’s gritty reality to life much better than any history book.


THE MASTER
2012, The Weinstein Company, 137 min, USA, Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson

Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a mentally unstable and alcoholic WWII veteran whose search for purpose is complicated when he forms a profound yet explosive bond with charismatic author Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of a mysterious philosophical movement known as “the Cause.” Set to haunting original music by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood, this deep character study features astonishing performances from Phoenix, Hoffman and Amy Adams, and is a tense, visually stunning exploration of religion, power and social structures.


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