(US/France - 2014)
Directed by James Gray. Written by James Gray and Richard Menello. Cast: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, Dagmara Dominczyk, Yelena Solovey, Angela Sarafyan, Jicky Schnee, Antoni Corone, Maja Wampuszyk, Ilia Volok, Joseph Calleja. (R, 117 mins)
"You are not nothing."
Writer/director James Gray isn't the most prolific of American filmmakers with just five films over his 20-year career (plus co-writing this year's BLOOD TIES), but there's been a growing consensus that he's among the most under-appreciated. His latest film, THE IMMIGRANT, was poised to be his breakthrough that would get him the accolades and respect that's been a long time coming. Early buzz on THE IMMIGRANT prior to its May 2014 release was overwhelmingly positive, and then...nothing. US distributor The Weinstein Company began slowly rolling it out and abruptly pulled the plug. It trickled into some major cities and the people who saw it raved about it. As recently as last week, it was still playing in a few art houses in the US, but at its widest release, it was only on 150 screens. Whatever momentum that was building for the film has long since stalled and while there's no DVD/Blu-ray street date as of yet, it unexpectedly turned up as a Netflix Instant streaming title this week. While such a move makes THE IMMIGRANT available to more audiences than ever, the treatment given to the film by its distributor borders on criminal, and once again, Gray is relegated to being the next big thing in American cinema, which he apparently always will be.
|James Gray and cinematographer Darius Khondji|