On Netflix Now: We’re Watching ‘The Immigrant’

The Immigrant is a 2013 drama about an innocent immigrant woman who is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister.

Set in 1921, Polish Catholic sisters Ewa (Marion Cotillard) and Magda (Angela Sarafyan) make the journey to New York City but are separated at Ellis Island, where Ewa is offered work by a Jewish man named Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), though she is deceived and forced to work as a dancer and prostitute. A deeply personal and gritty story, this often harrowing look at the realities of young women looking for a new life in the United States is a beautifully-photographed and very well-acted film with a moving turn from Cotillard. Written and directed by James Grey, who based much of the story of real accounts of his own grandparents, this is a genuinely affecting experience that didn’t get the attention it deserves. Change that.


Tremendously well-acted and directed, this is a rollercoaster of emotions with terrific dialogue and beautiful attention to period detail.

If you’re not a fan of period films, this might be a distraction, and it’s purposefully measured pace could be any issue.