In 1921, unfortunate circumstances drive newly arrived immigrant Ewa into a life of prostitution, and a complex, volatile relationship with two men – her conflicted pimp and his romantic cousin.
8/10 – Having not seen any of James Grays previous work, I now hope the rest are as good as this one. His 6th collaboration with Joaquin Phoenix and also starring the consistently great Marion Cotillard, this excellent drama set in prohibition New York will leave you wishing that more films were made like this.
Traditional, straightforward storytelling with minimal ‘twists’ and ‘revelations’, it plays out exactly as you expect it to play out and for once the predictability of a film is welcomed. Although visually grim, there is a certain beauty to the way it is presented. A sort of tint to the film, almost representing that slight glimmer of hope amongst the seemingly endless trail of obstacles thrown at immigrants.
Impeccably detailed, yet understated in it’s execution, this is a film that deserved more praise and promotion. Although the characters were a little flimsy, and it was a struggle to invest in anyone but Ewa (Cotillard), it provides the genuine escapism that is missing from a lot of films nowadays. It isn’t a ‘nice’ film in any sense of the word, but one worthy of your time.