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THE IMMIGRANT (PG) ROUGH PASSAGE

Travel to a new homeland can be a trying experience. Most of us had ancestors that ar­rived in the new land from Europe. Often the gateway to the promised land was, and still is, New York. Ground zero has historically been El­lis Island. Into this mix come two wayward girls in the eye-popping The immigrant. Brought to these shores by EOne Entertainment folks can relive all the angst of planting down new routes at The International Village Cinemas.

Numerous films have recounted the dif­ficulty of settling in a foreign territory far away from home. Back in 1921 one such lady from Poland had a rude awakening once ashore. Shy but determined Ewa Cybulska is a woman on a mission. Actress Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) conveys all the anxiety of a newcomer whose soul raisin d’être is shielding her sister. Quote by chance this woman meets thetic New Yorker and so begins a rather bizarre friend­ship.

Desperate people do desperate things and Ewa gets embroiled in the stylish life of one Bruno Weiss. Displaying all the right moves of this suave out to make it New York business entrepreneur is Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator). Show business is in this man’s blood and Ms. Cybulska reluctantly falls for his charm, needing money and winds up having her morales out to the test.

Bolsters by a great atmosphere of the rough conditions of the 20s in he teeming neighbourhoods of The Big Apple The Immigrant does a good job in con­veying the dangers of falling in with the wrong people. Rivalries are revealed enticingly with Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) adding more drama to an already explosive situation.

Smart direction by writer James Grant (Little Odessa) ensures a gripping two hours at the movies