The Immigrant [SQ inflight entertainment]

An achingly sad yet paradoxically hopeful period drama about one woman's struggle to survive wrapped enigmatically in an unlikely love story. Excellent and touching performances by both Marion Cortillard and Joaquin Phoenix, with Jeremy Renner in an outstanding supporting role. 

Director and co-writer James Gray (the latter with Richard Menello) painted a portrait of a bleak and desperate woman but also one who has immense strength in character and faith. Well directed with a good pace and sharp focus on characters. Interesting themes explored particularly sin and survival vs salvation, and forgiveness. 

Cotillard was outstanding as the titular main character: raw, fragile yet her steely gaze can stare down the hardest man. In this case, we have Phoenix giving us another one of his brilliant character creation as the anti-hero that you are secretly rooting for even if pretty boy Renner came in and swooned you/us over. 

Cinematography by Darius Khondji was equally as bleak as the story needed but the moments of light and salvation was equally as measured. Gorgeous use of lights and shadows in certain scenes. Music by Christopher Spellman carried a Polish theme and was similarly bleak with tinges of hope. 


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