“The Immigrant” Review

August 10, 2014 |  by  |  movies, reviews  |  No Comments

Here is an old-fashioned tragic drama… soft, patient, elegant and profound.  The director, James Gray, delivers a lovely film that probably won’t find the audience it deserves.  The present landscape of cinema all too often drowns out this style of movie-making.  However, make no mistake, “The Immigrant” is quality from top to bottom — and you should go out of your way to seek it out.

Ewa (Marion Cotillard) and her sister, Magda, arrive at Ellis Island in the early 1920′s, having survived The Great War, seeking a new home and a new life in America.  As they are hoarded off the boat, Ewa is separated from her sister, whose coughing hints at tuberculosis and demands that she be detained for medical treatment before being deported back to Poland.  Ewa also seems fated for deportation until she convinces Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), an opportunistic businessman, to help her.

His benevolence, unfortunately, is not entirely selfless.  Ewa is soon forced to work for his nightly, low-rent, underground burlesque show.  At the end of each night, she is sold to the patrons for more carnal entertainment.  It is only her determination to pay for her sister’s medical care and, ultimately, her sister’s freedom that keeps Ewa going.

Orlando (Jeremy Renner) is Bruno’s cousin.  He is a charismatic magician who takes a shining to Ewa.  However, his affections do not go unnoticed by Bruno, who is clearly also carrying a torch for her.  The tension inevitably leads to violent consequences.

“The Immigrant” is bleak… relentlessly so.  It is not a glorification of the American dream.  Watching the story unfold takes a toll on the viewer.  It is beautifully shot, with earthy tones and candlelit sets reminiscent of “Cinderella Man” or “Road to Perdition”.  The mood is dour, perhaps even morose.  But the honest story and the phenomenal performances carry us through the mire.

Marion Cotillard has been my favorite actress for a little over a decade now.  Aside from her legendary beauty, she is the most powerful conveyor of emotion I think I have ever seen on the big screen.  Her stillness delivers a thousand words.  Her gaze tells you everything you need to know about her character.  There is a scene in “The Immigrant” where Ewa visits a church and enters the confessional… It is a moment that Cotillard nails perfectly.  She carries the movie.  She is the heart and soul of the film.  She is the reason we care.

Joaquin Phoenix simply doesn’t do mediocre.  He crushes yet another role with the intensity and passion that has become his trademark.  He has the most complex character in “The Immigrant” — needing us to loathe his actions, concede his reasoning, and pray for his redemption.  It is another award-winning role.

I don’t love the film.  It is too somber and gloomy for that.  Nevertheless, it is admirable and compelling work.  The cinematography is stunning.  The production design transports the viewer back in time.  And the performances are flat-out home-runs.  I highly recommend the rough journey.

THREE AND A HALF STARS The Immigrant Review

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“Metro Manila” Trailer

August 7, 2014 |  by  |  movies, trailers  |  No Comments

Here is the trailer for “Metro Manila”.  It is noteworthy because the film is directed by Sean Ellis.  He was at the helm for one of my favorite films of all time, the gorgeous 2006 masterpiece, “Cashback”.

This story looks intense and dramatic.  It won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and it getting great reviews from both the public and critics alike.

Make sure to seek out this sure-fire gem.

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Hottie Birthdays - August 6th

Hottie Birthdays – August 6th

August 6, 2014 |  by  |  beauty, birthdays, celebrities  |  No Comments

A very Hottie Birthday to Melissa George (Aussie actress), Mai Phuong Thuy (former Miss Vietnam), Marisa Miller (bikini and lingerie model extraordinaire), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) & Romola Garai (English actress).

Did we miss anyone today???

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Hottie Birthdays - August 3rd

Hottie Birthdays – August 3rd

August 3, 2014 |  by  |  beauty, birthdays, celebrities  |  No Comments

Well here’s a quintet of birthday girls consisting of a supermodel, a comedian, a princess, a woodland elf and a jaibird.  What a line-up!!!

Evangelline Lilly once reached the lofty heights of #4 on the Most Beautiful Faces List of 2006.  She was the heroine on “Lost” and now stars as Tauriel, the woodland elf, in the latest “Hobbit” adventures directed by Peter Jackson.

Karen Alloy is more widely known as spricket24 on YouTube.  She is absurdly funny and isn’t afraid to abuse the system with her sex appeal.  Half of her trillions and trillions of views have come from her booblicious thumbnails.

Martha Stewart was always an attractive woman… But you have to admit that she became even hotter when she got locked up behind bars for insider trading.  Add the 1960′s & 70′s modelling portfolio and she qualifies as a hottie!

Karlie Kloss is a Chicago native and one of the Top 10 Supermodels of the last decade.  She is in relentless demand by every fashion designer — and she powers down catwalks with one of the most recognizable struts in the biz.

Charlotte Casiraghi is 4th in line to the throne of Monaco.  Her maternal grandparents were Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and Grace Kelly.  She is a certified gazillionaire and she is the most beautiful royal since her Grandma!!!

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Hottie Birthdays - August 2nd

Hottie Birthdays – August 2nd

August 2, 2014 |  by  |  beauty, birthdays, celebrities  |  1 Comment

August 2nd gave us three women who have made the world a little more beautiful…

Mary Louise Parker is an absolute fountain of youth.  This superb actress doesn’t look a day over 30… but would you believe that she will turn 50 in 2014.  Mind-blowing!

Jacinda Barrett was a permanent fixture on the Most Beautiful Faces List from 1995 to 2007.  This superb Australian actress is a certified “Hall of Famer” in our book.

Jungah is the leader (unnie) of the amazing Korean pop idol girl-group, After School.  She is know for her vocals, dancing, modelling and one of the best bodies in the KPOP world.

A Hottie Birthday to all three!

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“Interstellar” Trailer

August 1, 2014 |  by  |  movies, trailers  |  No Comments

Released into theaters on November 7th, 2014 is director, Christopher Nolan’s, “Interstellar”.  This trailer looks just about as epic as it gets.  Let’s all hope that Nolan and his superb cast of actors can pull it off.

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“Birdman” Trailer

August 1, 2014 |  by  |  movies, trailers  |  No Comments

This trailer for “Birdman” looks fascinating.  I can’t quite tell what the finished product is going to look like — but I know it will be unique and original.  The cast is pretty stellar — Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Amy Ryan, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough and Naomi Watts.  The director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, is the man behind films such as, “Babel”, “21 Grams” and “Amores Perros”.  The early buzz is good, propping up Michael Keaton as one of the early frontrunners for the Best Actor Oscar next year.

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Quotes to Ponder #3

Quotes to Ponder #3

August 1, 2014 |  by  |  humor, opinion, quotes  |  No Comments

“I’m serious as cancer when I say, Rhythm is a Dancer!” – Martin Luther King Jr.

A truly inspirational quote.  Words to live by.

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New Face: Charlotte Le Bon

New Face: Charlotte Le Bon

August 1, 2014 |  by  |  beauty, celebrities, faces  |  No Comments

We have a new candidate for the 2014 Most Beautiful Faces List…

Charlotte Le Bon is a 27-year-old Canadian actress, model and television presenter. She is best known for her work in the Canal+ talk show, “Le Grand Journal” and the 2014 film, “Yves Saint Laurent”.  She is celestially beautiful and supremely talented.  Look for her to be around for many years to come.

Check out all her work on her IMDb page.

Click Below for High Resolution Photo Gallery of Charlotte Le Bon…

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Quotes to Ponder #2

Quotes to Ponder #2

August 1, 2014 |  by  |  humor, opinion, quotes  |  No Comments

“Always stand up for what you believe in.  That way, when you’re proved wrong, you can run away to avoid being embarrassed.” — General Patton