Keep Your Head, Kingsgate Films, Worldview Entertainment,

Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner

Ewa Cybulska (Marion Cotillard) and her sister Magda arrive at Ellis Island in New York Harbor from Poland in 1921. Magda is immediately put in the hospital on the south end of the island in quarantine for 6 months due to lung problems. She will either be deported or released at the end of that period, but Ewa is not so lucky. Her Aunt and Uncle who are sponsoring her (since she has no money) did not show to pick her up, and Immigrations has determined that the address they provided was not a real address. So she is to be sent back home immediately. She runs into Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix) who is immediately smitten by her beauty and he pays off the Immigrations officials to allow her to be released into his custody. She is immediately put to work in the burlesque theater and forced into prostitution to earn the “money” needed to free her sister. But a love triangle with Emil (Jeremy Renner) knows as Orlando the Magician may be leading to tragedy for everyone.

This is a very dark period piece that was very surprisingly good. It is a very well told story, but very, very dark. The tragedy of arriving on hopes and dreams and nothing else, only to have your hopes dashed and to be hit with utter desperation. Marion Cotillard is excellent, as usual, in playing the very beautiful, intelligent, and capable young woman in a situation spinning out of her control. Joaquin Phoenix is an unusual character in real life, and is a very fitting choice for this Fagin type role from Oliver Twist of a good-hearted, but ruthless pimp taking advantage of the girls in his employ, and Jeremy Renner was also an excellent cast as faker magician for the poor folks Orlando who’s tricks are pretty good, and his intentions are pretty good, but he’s a mischievous fellow, that’s for sure. Basically this one of the best cast movies I have seen in a long while. It received a lot of notice at Cannes, but got only a limited release in the theaters. It did very well, though it was not on many screens, and it got amazing numbers considering the limited release, and I can see why. You don’t expect to come out from watching this film feeling good, that’s for sure, as it’s sad and depressing, but it’s such a well told and well developed story that it’s very entertaining and it will make you think about the lives and hardships people who arrived on a ship looking for a better life had to go through. How challenging in must have been for so many people. This was a very good film, and now it was just put up for streaming on NetFlix for April 2015, so it’s will be easy to find. It’s well worth checking out.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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