Close-Up on "Two Lovers": James Gray's Extraordinary Average Love Story

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Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Two Lovers is playing on Mubi in the Us through September 15.Little Odessa (1994), The Yards (2000), We Own the Night (2007), The Immigrant (2013): Written and directed by James Gray, these four films are occupied by characters living extraordinary lives. Yet despite their depiction of an exceptional existence—covering cold-blooded killers, cunning gangsters, ruthless hit men, and the perilous plight of early 20th century immigrants—Gray's cinematic worlds are consistently unassuming and relatable. No matter how high the drama or how dire the circumstances, there is a palpable attention to detail, in character and setting, which attains a surprising level of modest believability. Two Lovers (2009), his fourth feature film, likewise achieves this authenticity, but it is also something of an exemption to his body of work. Anchored by Joaquin Phoenix as Leonard Kraditor, in what was the actor's third straight film
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Halfway Mark: The Best Movies of 2014 (so far) Part 2

15. Stranger by the Lake

Directed by Alain Guiraudie

Written by Alain Guiraudie


Though Stranger by the Lake premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival (and appeared on Sound On Sight’s best of 2013 list), it finally reached North American audiences in January of this year. Alain Guiraudie’s stunning noir-tinged thriller is set entirely against the backdrop of a secluded lake–known to locals as a popular gay cruising spot. A tale of murder complicated by intense sexual obsession (garnering equal parts praise and criticism for its frank depiction of unsimulated gay sex) it accomplishes the rare feat of subtly guiding the way we pay attention to details as we watch. The film’s deceptively simple geography is mapped out as much aurally (and orally) as visually. By the time of the pulse-pounding climax, Guiraudie has masterfully taken hold of all of our senses in an ever-tightening claustrophobic grip.
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‘The Immigrant’ is a polished period piece with the vintage knack for the melodramatic

The Immigrant

Written by Richard Menello and James Gray

Directed by James Gray

USA, 2014

Coming to America in the early 1920′s was supposed to signify a new start and generate fresh cultural experiences for Polish sisters Ewa Cybulski (Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, “La Vie en Rose”) and Magda (Angela Sarafyan) in co-writer/director James Gray’s elegant, sweeping and moody melodrama The Immigrant. Gray’s (“The Yard”, “We Own the Night”, “Little Odessa”, “Two Lovers”) character-driven expose of the American dream turned nightmarish hard knocks has some guaranteed richness in its vintage soap opera-esque sophistication.

The Immigrant echoes the lost ambitions, evasive opportunities and seedy-minded expectations of people roaming around but not quite reaching their intended destinations. Gray and his screenwriter collaborator Richard Menello create a tawdry, sullen and cluttered universe in an early turn of the century New York City where foreign visitors gravitate to Ellis Island looking to share
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Film Review: Dark, Stunning Tale of American Dream in ‘The Immigrant’

Chicago – Just in time for a national holiday is the release of two films about surviving as “the outsider” in a tumultuous American society. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” isn’t the only movie that opines about how the outsider will survive in America.

James Gray’s “The Immigrant” does, too. It’s a film that takes the story of a Polish woman traveling through the course of Ellis Island and deconstructs her tale as an American nightmare.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

While both films are set in different past periods, they speak to alternative contemporary struggles within America, especially as its citizens and hopeful citizens struggle for their own opportunities in the land of the free.

The title character is played with excellence by Marion Cotillard, a woman who travels to Ellis Island with her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan) from Poland after witnessing the murder of their parents. When her sister is
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“The Immigrant” – Marion Cottilard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner

Directed by: James Gray Written by: James Gray and Ric Menello Main Cast: Marion Cottilard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, and others Past Oscar relations: Cottilard, Phoenix, and Renner all have Oscar nominations, while Cotillard won Best Actress for La Vie en Rose. Today we’re focusing on James Gray’s The Immigrant, a new period piece opening this weekend which hopes to at long last get Gray headfirst into the awards race. Gray directs and co-writes (with Ric Menello) here, with Marion Cotillard in the lead role of an immigrant struggling to make it in New York. Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner have the main supporting parts as men in Cotillard’s life, and after a debut last year at the Cannes Film Festival and a spot in the New York Film Festival lineup, the film is coming our way and hoping for the best. The A list cast and
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The Immigrant with Cotillard, Phoenix and Renner gets new trailer

The Immigrant with Cotillard, Phoenix and Renner gets new trailer
A new trailer for director James Gray's The Immigrant has been released.

The period drama stars Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner.

The latest teaser showcases Cotillard as troubled Polish immigrant Ewa in the 1920s, who is forced into the world of prostitution by a charming but evil man called Bruno, played by Phoenix.

Cotillard finds hope when she sets her eyes on a magician by the name of Orlando (Renner).

Unfortunately, Orlando is the cousin of Bruno, giving Ewa a narrow escape from her nightmarish world.

The film's screenplay was written by Gray and Ric Menello (Two Lovers).

The Immigrant is currently on the festival circuit with its next debut at Newport Beach International Film Festival later this month.
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‘The Immigrant’, the latest feature from James Gray, releases a new trailer

Despite a filmography consisting of only four features to date, filmmaker James Gray has garnered a number of fans in the film community for movies such as We Own the Night and Two Lovers. With a collaboration on the screenplay of Blood Ties marking Gray’s first new film credit since 2008, many were curious to see his next directorial feature. Titled The Immigrant, Gray co-wrote the screenplay with Ric Menello, directing a cast that includes frequent collaborator Joaquin Phoenix, along with Marion Cotillard, Jicky Schnee, and Jeremy Renner. A new trailer for the film has now been released, and can be seen below. Sound on Sight was able to see the film at Nyff 2013, and our review can be read here.

(Source: Collider)

The post ‘The Immigrant’, the latest feature from James Gray, releases a new trailer appeared first on Sound On Sight.
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Most Anticipated Films by Auteurs for 2014

While some of us are still playing catch-up with films we missed in 2013, there’s no shame in looking ahead to the seemingly marvelous lineup of films that await us cinephiles in 2014. The buzz will be fast and contagious with festivals like Sundance, Berlinale, Rotterdam, and Cannes just around the corner; below is my list for films I’m eagerly anticipating this year. More of Sound on Sight’s most anticipated lists can be found here: Horror, Comedy, Foreign, Sci-fi.

The Immigrant

Directed by James Gray

Written by James Gray and Ric Menello


Release Date: Tbd

Having screened at Cannes and at Nyff to overwhelming praise, James Gray’s latest period drama starring Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Renner has found itself in distribution limbo over the past few months. Previously titled Lowlife, the film takes place in New York in 1921, tracking the allure of the American dream
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Nyff 2013: ‘The Immigrant’ has great melodrama, superb acting, but plays way too safe

The Immigrant

Written by Ric Menello and James Gray

Directed by James Gray

USA, 2013

The Immigrant, set in the dusty landscape of 1920s Manhattan, focuses on young Polish immigrant Ewa (Marion Cotillard). She’s separated from her sick sister at Ellis Island. After being denied from her uncle and struggling to raise money for her sister’s medical bills, Ewa finds herself at the doorstep of shady burlesque manager Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix), who grows fond of her innocence. After charming street magician Orlando (Jeremy Renner) reenters Bruno’s life, he too is captivated by Ewa’s appeal. What results, in a sideswiping devastation of a climax, is the result of a battle between love and survival. Although a beautifully nostalgic portrait, with great performances, Gray’s The Immigrant plays a bit mediocre for populous taste. What starts out having all the right ingredients to make a gangbusters watch, turns
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Nyff 2013 Dispatch: ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’; ‘The Immigrant’; ‘Bastards’; ‘Gloria’

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Dir. Ben Stiller)

The trailer for Ben Stiller’s newest directorial effort is life-affirming, anthemic, and seems like a heartstring-puller in the best possible way. Trailers are often misleading. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is occasionally satisfying white-guy wish fulfillment, as if Network’s Howard Beale were in a 2-hour, beautifully choreographed fantasy sequence. Depending who you are, this might sound like the best possible scenario for a trip to the multiplex, and that’s exactly what Twentieth Century Fox is banking on with its Christmas Day release.

Stiller is a capable multi-hyphenate, proven by his successful Hollywood farce Tropic Thunder. He does double duty again here as the title character, a backroom photo editor at Life magazine who suffers flights of fancy when he often zones out mid-conversation. The dreams inside his head are much more fantastical than the ones he stifles in real life.
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Watch A Second Clip from James Gray’s Cannes Entry, ‘The Immigrant’

For nearly two decades, director James Gray has been making refined dramas about emotionally complex characters, often immigrants. Now Gray is back with a film apporpirately titled The Immigrant, which has been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Set in the shady world of 1920s vaudeville on New York’s Lower East Side, the film follows two Polish sisters who migrate to the U.S. in search of the American Dream. Oscar winner Marion Cotillard joins two Oscar nominees: Jeremy Renner and Joaquin Phoenix, a Gray regular, having also appeared in the director’s last three films. As with Gray’s last film, 2008′s Two Lovers, the director co-wrote the script with the late Ric Menello. A brand new clip has been released, which you can watch below. Enjoy!
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The Immigrant Starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix Clips

The Immigrant, premiered In Competition at 2013 Cannes Film Festival, is a 1920-set tale starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix. James Gray directed the movie from a script he co-wrote with Richard Menello, and beside Phoenix and Cotillard, the film also stars Jeremy Renner and Antoni Corone. Today, we’re here to share some clips from the whole thing with you! In case you’ve missed the official synopsis, here’s a little reminder: 1920. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulski and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda...
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Watch A New Clip from James Gray’s ‘The Immigrant’

In 1994, at age 25, James Gray won the Silver Lion at the 1994 Venice Film Festival with his directorial debut Little Odessa, a film about a hit man confronted by his younger brother upon returning to his hometown. Ever since, James Gray has won over critics with every film he’s released since, including the noir, The Yards, and the cop thriller, We Own the Night which received widely divergent reviews when it played in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Now he is back with his fifth feature, The Immigrant, which also has been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or.

Oscar winner Marion Cotillard joins two Oscar nominees: Jeremy Renner and Joaquin Phoenix, a Gray regular, having also appeared in the director’s last three films. As with Gray’s last film, 2008′s Two Lovers, the director co-wrote the script with the late Ric Menello, famous for his hip-hop collaborations.
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The Noteworthy: Tilda in a Box, "The Sorcerer" Returns, Korine Does Reddit

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Above: Martin Scorsese has sent a letter to NYC's City Planning Commission, protesting the gentrification of the Bowery. If only every city had a master of cinema protecting the heritage of its neighborhoods... Above: Quinzane des Réalisateurs have unveiled their poster for the upcoming edition this May in Cannes. According to The Wrap, William Friedkin's misunderstood 1976 film Sorcerer will be re-released after undergoing a remastering. Above: Tilda Swinton has been sleeping in a box as part of an exhibition at MoMA entitled "The Maybe", but even though this was unannounced, can any of us really say it's surprising?


Above: Harmony Korine discusses his approach to Spring Breakers. Speaking of Korine, in what will likely go down as one of the most entertaining Reddit AMAs ever, the filmmaker fielded questions (sort of) from curious fans, resulting in exchanges such as this one:

"tetegomme: was Spring Breakers at all influenced by Tree of Life?
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The Noteworthy: The Rappaport vs. Carney Saga, Can't Stop McT, Menello Remembered

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The 66th issue of Senses of Cinema is now online, and features pieces on Chris Marker, David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock—among many others. The Mark Rappaport-Ray Carney saga continues (if this is new to you, see here) with Carney's first time on record about his controversial decision to hold onto creative materials once (and, according to the filmmaker, still) belonging to Rappaport. We won't editorialize here, so we'll let you read the rather gigantic essay from Carney, and make up your own mind. In our forum, both Rappaport and Jon Jost (who has been actively bringing this issue to the public eye) have chimed in and others are joining into the conversation.

News via the "Free John McTiernan" page on Facebook: the filmmaker is working on developing a script for a project titled Warbirds, in spite of the upcoming jail time he's facing. Not a lot of details on the film,
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40 Potential 2014 Oscar Contenders: The Complete List

Here is my complete 2014 Oscar Preview in one complete list, with all 40 Oscar Contenders and my thoughts on each over the course of a massive 13-page spread and over 8,500 words. Trust me, I don't blame you if you take your time, but I think it may serve as a helpful list to look back at throughout the year. And, if you missed Parts 1-4 in which I featured each of these films, ten per installment, and just because it's fun to see them all in one place, here's a list of all 40 films included in this preview: The Great Gatsby, 12 Years a Slave, A Most Wanted Man, The Place Beyond the Pines, August: Osage County, Before Midnight, Blue Jasmine, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Diana, Elysium, The Fifth Estate, Foxcatcher, Frozen, Fruitvale, Grace of Monaco, Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Inside Llewyn Davis, Labor Day, Lowlife, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,
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40 Potential 2014 Oscar Contenders: Part Three - 'Lowlife' to 'Place Beyond the Pines'

Hopefully each of these preview pieces are not only introducing you to the year's most likely 2014 Oscar contenders, but perhaps introducing a few films you may have not already known about or had on your radar, giving you a little something more to look forward to. Today I offer up ten more films and we are talking movies from the likes of George Clooney, Alexander Payne, Scott Cooper and Spike Lee to name a few. Today's installment includes James Gray's Lowlife starring Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Renner and Joaquin Phoenix, then Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom featuring Idris Elba in the title role, George Clooney's The Monuments Men which just began filming in Berlin, Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man, Mud from Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey, Alexander Payne's Nebraska, Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy, Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper's follow-up
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The Noteworthy: Lim Replaces Koehler, Bordwell's Sweet 16, Interviews with Ferrara, Karel & Klahr

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Above: Filmmaker Andrei Ujică in conversation with Dennis Lim.

Dennis Lim is the new year-round Cinematheque programmer for the Film Society at Lincoln Center. Not too long ago we reported Robert Koehler had taken the position, but due to family health issues, he has stepped down. We congratulate Dennis Lim and our thoughts are with Robert Koehler. He may not be a household name, but he meant a lot to those who knew him: Ric Menello passed away at the age of 60 last week. Menello is known for co-writing Two Lovers and Lowlife with James Gray, and for directing this. Take a look at the Ditmas Park Corner blog's remembrance of Menello.

Editor of The Chiseler and Notebook contributor Daniel Riccuito has a new book coming out, and it's a humdinger: The Depression Alphabet Primer, with illustrations by Tony Millionaire. You can find a sample of the delights
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Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2013: #48. James Gray’s Nightingale


Director: James Gray

Writer(s): Gray and Ric Menello

Producer(s): Gray, Anthony Katagas, Greg Shapiro, Christopher Woodrow

U.S. Distributor: The Weinstein Co.

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Dagmara Dominczyk, Angela Sarafyan

There are some cinephile circles who’ve come to think that James Gray is in a class of his own or that he is on par with the likes of PTA, David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky and co. While there are several admirable strengths in Little Odessa and the three films that have followed (I’ve especially embraced the darker, more nuanced qualities that remind of 70′s American Independent cinema) but the filmmaker has yet to topple over into masterpiece category – perhaps it is in the year where his output is a total of two (he wrote Blood Ties) where we’ll see him receive accolades from all critics circles and not just the French.
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First Look At Nightingale, Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard & Jeremy Renner!

So, the last time we talked about this project, we were all like – take a look, Joaquin Phoenix is back, and he stars in The Untitled James Gray Project together with Marion Cotillard! Then, a strange thing happened and we were all like – the movie is now titled A Low Life! But today, we’re here to (finally) say that the real title is actually Nightingale, and to share more photos from the whole thing with you!

James Gray directed the movie from a script he co-wrote with Ric Menello, and beside Phoenix and Cotillard, Nightingale also stars Jeremy Renner, Angela Sarafyan, Dagmara Dominczyk, Glenn Fleshler, Tom Stratford, Ilia Volok and Antoni Corone.

In case you’ve missed the official synopsis, here’s a little reminder:

1920. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulski and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland.
See full article at Filmofilia »
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