From the looks of it “The Immigrant”should be in the thick of the Oscar chase, but its U.S. distributor The Weinstein Company has opted to premiere James Gray‘s period drama in the Spring of 2014.
It’s a surprising decision — perhaps a nod to just how intense the awards hunt is this season — given that the film earned strong reviews when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival this year and stars Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner, actors who frequently factor into the hardware hunt.
The film doesn’t sound like an upper. It unfolds in a New York city teeming with new arrivals, loose morals and urban disorder, and follows a Polish immigrant (Cotillard) who falls into prostitution thanks to her association with an unsavory sex-show director (Phoenx).
A new trailer for “The Immigrant” released Friday plays up the love triangle between Cotillard, Phoenix and Renner, playing Phoenix’s magician brother. It also overflows with beautifully composed images of a vanished New York.
In the New Yorker, Richard Brody raved, “With a high-tension stillness of psychic violence bursting into bloodshed, the director breaks through naturalism to find the living nightmares underneath national and urban mythologies.”
But Gray is something of an acquired taste on these shores. His tragedies and melodramas like “Little Odessa” and “We Own the Night” are Shakespearean in scope, and though they frequently unfold in Manhattan and its adjoining boroughs, have found greater favor in Europe.
Perhaps ‘The Immigrant” will reverse his luck.
Watch the trailer above.