James Gray’s latest film ‘The Immigrant’ stars French actress Marion Cotillard as a Polish immigrant who arrives on New York’s Ellis Island in 1921.
Her character, Ewa Cybulski, is separated from her sick sister as soon as she arrives and is taken in by a pimp called Bruno, played by Joaquin Phoenix.
Cotillard says her arrival in the United States could not have been more different than Ewa’s, but adds that she is still able to relate to her in some ways.
“Being in a place where sometimes you’re lost and sometimes you deal with the fact that you’re not entirely yourself. First of all because you cannot express yourself like you do in your own language and it really changes not your deep personality, but when you feel uncomfortable it creates something in your personality that I could relate to,” she said.
Ewa’s hope for a better future is restored when Orlando, a stage magician, arrives. He is played in the film by Jeremy Renner.
Oscar-winning actress Cotillard says the film contains differing messages about the pursuit of the American Dream.
“When so many people arrive in a country, the people who are there think that they (are) going to be able to manipulate some of them and to get from them what they need,” she explained. “Because they need assistance, they need money, they need everything to live, everything to survive but I still see a land of welcome and hope.”