The Immigrant (2014) – James Gray

22 01 2015

The Immigrant

First unveiled at the 2013 Cannes film festival, James Gray’s The Immigrant was originally primed for a strong awards run that same year, but was then suddenly put into release date limbo before quietly being released in just a few theaters earlier this year.  The studio has also gone back and forth on whether to market or campaign the film for awards honors. I bring this up because it seemed that the studio couldn’t decide whether or not they liked their own movie, and the film is such a mixed bag that I feel much the same way after a first viewing.  The film starts as a fascinating look into 1920’s immigrant life centering on a Polish immigrant who gets quarantined at Ellis Island, before a mysterious man bribes an officer to set her free.  But what was a brilliant period piece with an intriguing character study is derailed midway through, when the plot turns into a melodramatic love triangle. There are many beautiful moments, including the film’s final shot (might even be the best of the year), and the film is anchored by two amazing performances by Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix, but sadly the third act is completely at odds with the rest of the film in content and tone, making the overall package an odd one.

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The Master (PTA fanboy reaction)

23 09 2012

Holy shit guys!  So The Master is really, REALLY fucking good.  I don’t think I can actually write a formal review on this yet, partly in fear of just raving too much.  Hopefully Maryann will find the time this week to write something more elegant and thoughtful so we can have some actual content about this movie on the site.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and everybody involved just seemed to go above and beyond, Joaquin Phoenix in particular.  Afterwards we were talking about how PTA often seems to channel a different filmmaker (Boogie Nights = Scorsese, Magnolia = Altman, There Will Be Blood = Kubrick), and with The Master I got an almost Malick vibe, though it was much more controlled (Malick has a tendency to go off on tangents, to say the least) with more focus on the characters and actors.  So many things stood out.  Jonny Greenwood’s score is amazing and surreal.  The writing and performances and the list just goes on and on.  Admittedly I’m biased as I’ve been a huge fan of PTA for years, but once again he exceeded my expectations.  If you’re at all curious about the film, please don’t hesitate to see it.





Full-Length Trailer for PTA’s “The Master”

20 07 2012

Hello? You may, or may not, have noticed that it’s been a long time since we’ve posted anything.  Basically, post-college life happened.  Maryann’s busy working full-time, and I’m working part-time and trying to finish up my thesis for Grad school, so this site kind of got pushed aside.  But now we’re back!  Posts might not be published quite as often as they used to, but we’re definitely going to give this site more attention, and what better way to start than with the trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie?  Everything’s looking amazing: Joaquin Phoenix,  Jonny Greenwood’s score, dat cinematography.  Needless to say I can’t wait.  “There Will Be Blood” was one of my favorite movies of recent memory, so naturally I’m expecting big things from “The Master.”  Check out the trailer below:





Joaquin Phoenix’s “I’m Still Here”

17 09 2010

Casey Affleck, the film’s director, just announced that it really was all a hoax.  I’ve got to say that I think this is pretty amazing performance art from Phoenix, and I’m more than amused by the idea of career suicide as conceptual art.  For those who haven’t been following Phoenix’s antics closely, an in-depth rundown on this project can be found here.  Best actor nomination anyone?  I sure think he deserves it.  I’m in the camp of people who were positive that this was all a fun, elaborate hoax at first, but then as time went on became less and less sure.  I mean this thing lasted for what, 2 years?  That’s a long time to stay in character.

It’s also worth nothing that Phoenix will be back on Letterman (out of character of course) on the 22nd.  Here’s the trailer for the upcoming documentary: