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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loyalty to family is important, especially during hard times. And if you find yourself abandoned and alone, you need to be able to draw on a deep well of strength and resilience to see your way through. Also, hope can fuel you through most hardships. On the downside, women are treated like second-class citizens, called names by men, and discarded after sex.
Positive Role Models
Ewa is absolutely devoted to her sister, Magda, and she won't let anything stand in her way when it comes to reuniting with her. Orlando is flawed and not always dependable, but he does brighten Ewa's miserable existence, if only for a short while.
Violence & Scariness
A man stabs a family member with a knife and later is seen disposing of the body. He's also shown brandishing a firearm, an object that's later used to threaten someone. A man is shown dragging a dead body to the trash. Two men tussle over a woman.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Women's bare breasts are shown as part of a nudie show. The participants are also instructed to parade themselves so that male clients can pick which one they'd want to sleep with. Men are shown buttoning their trousers, presumably after sex with prostitutes. A couple kisses.
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Infrequent use of words including "s--t" and "f--k." Women are called "whores."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are shown drinking absinthe and liquid opium, sometimes to oblivion.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Immigrant is a fascinating 1920s-set historical drama that deals with some heavy topics -- prostitution, for example -- that are too mature for younger viewers. Some scenes reveal the brutality inherent in trying to survive, especially during the hard-scrabble times depicted here. Expect some violence (a fatal stabbing, for instance), nudity (mostly breasts), swearing (infrequent use of words like "s--t" and "f--k"), drinking, frank talk of prostitution, and characters who are tortured and troubled. On the upside, there are positive messages about loyalty and hope. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
THE IMMIGRANT is a complex tale that's beautifully shot in gritty, dreary hues; Cotillard's face -- and the strength she communicates with the smallest of gestures -- are the brightest spots. She's perfect as Ewa, who has to build a hard shell around her as she navigates a world she neither sought nor understands. With her, the film's dense plot makes sense. Still, it's brutal in the way it coats each character with a specific misery. Humanity, too. The bad guys aren't necessarily all bad, and the good aren't necessarily so innocent.
Though it's ultimately a satisfying film, The Immigrant is loses its narrative focus in the end. It sputters to its conclusion as if on the last drop of fuel. A betrayal doesn't feel hard-won; in fact, it's expected, detracting a little bit from the movie's triumph as a deeply felt story. Even so, while you watch, you feel specially chosen to have been invited on Ewa's journey, as difficult and wrenching it may be.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.