The Immigrant trailer

We got our first look at the Cannes 2014 slate this morning, but there are still a few Cannes 2013 films making their way to theaters. One is James Gray‘s The Immigrant, starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner.

Cotillard stars as Ewa, a Polish woman who emigrates to New York in 1920 with her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan). The two are separated upon their arrival at Ellis Island when Magda turns out to be sick.

Desperate, penniless, and alone, Ewa accepts the help of a charming stranger named Bruno (Phoenix) who turns out to be a pimp. He traps her in a life of prostitution, but she sees the potential for salvation when she meets his more pure-hearted cousin Orlando (Renner). Watch the new The Immigrant trailer after the jump.

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The Sundance Channel is getting into the prestige TV game, and is following up Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake with six-episode series The Red Road, which has James Gray directing the first episode. (Not to be confused with Andrea Arnold’s 2006 film Red Road; this isn’t a remake of that movie.)

The show stars Martin Henderson, Jason Momoa, Julianne Nicholson and Tom Sizemore, and follows “a sheriff struggling to keep his family together while simultaneously policing two clashing communities: the small town where he grew up and the neighboring Ramapo Mountains, home of the Ramapo Mountain Indians.” In other words, yep, this covers some of the same geography as the film Out of the Furnace, and features the same population that wasn’t all that psyched about Scott Cooper’s film.

Check out a trailer below. Read More »

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It’s fun to see the development of the careers of Robert Pattinson and Daniel Radcliffe to have similar careers after their respective tween franchises ended. Radcliffe has been canny with his post-Potter gigs, choosing projects that better straddle art and mainstream.

Pattinson has gone more for the weird when it comes to gigs outside Twilight. (Both the intentionally weird, and the unwittingly so.) And he’s got another gig with Cronenberg in the works now, a job with Werner Herzog, and a role in The Rover, from Animal Kingdom director David Michôd. That’s good company to be in.

Now add The Lost City of Z, to be directed by James Gray based on the book by David Grann about doomed Amazon explorer Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett. Read More »

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This looks promising. The Immigrant is James Gray‘s latest film, which debuted at Cannes to generally positive reviews. And no wonder: the film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner in a love triangle of sorts, as Phoenix “helps” Cotillard as she immigrates to the US in the 1920, then traps her in a life of prostitution. Renner plays Phoenix’s cousin, and the man who could set her free. Sure, that’s a pretty hoary old story, but with the talent involved it still has appeal. And coming from Gray (and cinematographer Darius Khondji) I’d expect more out of it than the basic description suggests.

Note: this trailer is not safe for work, due to some nudity. Read More »

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Another big Cannes premiere this year was the crime drama Blood Ties, co-written by Two Lovers director James Gray, and the first English-language film directed by Guillaume Canet (Tell No One). The film has quite a cast, and a period ’70s setting in Brooklyn, as it remakes the 2008 French thriller Les liens du sang by Jacques Maillot.

The cast includes Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard reuniting from Rust & Bone, but the prime cast members are Clive Owen and Billy Crudup, with Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, and James Caan. The plot relies on an old conceit: two brothers on opposite sides of the law. But there’s some changing of sides, and the ensemble cast expands the scope of the production by involving far more people than the two brothers.

Keep in mind, the trailer is not safe for work thanks to language. Read More »

James Gray, the director of films such as Two Lovers and We Own the Night, was once set to direct The Lost City of Z,  featuring Brad Pitt. Things changed on that front, as Gray and Paramount couldn’t come to financial terms for the big-budget ‘expedition to the Amazon’ film. (Ironically, the same issue was once a stumbling block for the similarly -titled World War Z, also at Paramount, which is now in production with Pitt under the director of Marc Forster.)

But as often seems to be the scenario with Brad Pitt and certain directors, the star and filmmaker are now set to come together on another project. Pitt is in talks to star in The Gray Man, an adaptation of Mark Greaney‘s assassin thriller novel. Read More »

Anyone who really thought there might be bad blood between director James Gray and his Two Lovers star Joaquin Phoenix can now truly rest easy. The actor started his I’m Still Here ‘retirement/rapper’ schtick during the promotion of Two Lovers, arguably overshadowing the film, and there was talk at the time that James Gray wasn’t thrilled with the turn of events. But he was, of course, in on it, and said they would definitely work together once more. (The two have quite a history together, also having collaborated on The Yards and We Own the Night.)

Now, in a move that should please anyone who likes to see the development of a great actor/director team, they’re poised to work together again on a film called Low Life. And there is an impressive  cast developing around Joaquin Phoenix, with Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner as the current big co-stars. Read More »

Jeremy Renner is a machine. He’s leaping from Mission: Impossible to Hansel & Gretel to The Avengers and then likely to The Bourne Legacy, and at some point will squeeze in voice work for the fourth Ice Age film. Got to take the big opportunies while they’re around, and The Hurt Locker created them left and right.

But he’s taking control of the more distant future of his career by forming a production company, The Combine, to develop and produce projects. The first one will be scripted by Two Lovers and We Own the Night writer/director James Gray, and will be a biopic of first-generation action movie star Steve McQueen. Jeremy Renner will play the central role himself. Read More »

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