On the recommendation of a former client (one of the very few I still speak with), I logged onto Netflix to watch a film titled THE IMMIGRANT. And it was worth the time and effort on three fronts.
The immigrant herself is a Polish girl who lands on Ellis Island and is immediately accosted by a pimp who cruises the territory looking for single women much like modern day dudes work Port Authority. I was not aware that 1920’s New York even hosted that sad reality. But with a little research, I came to discover that indeed, such a circumstance was not fiction. Who’d a thunk? But then again in colonial times, the Battery was a fancy promenade by day – and – a ho stroll at night. Apparently, men’s lust knows no time restraints. So that was the first interesting element for this viewer.
Now to number 2: At the end of the movie, the pimp (who has fallen for the immigrant he turned into his whore) confesses he’s a piece of shit manipulator. This particular climax didn’t meet with the distributor’s approval. And he wanted the ending changed before releasing it to the public. Guess who that distributor was! HARVEY WEINSTEIN! Old Harve didn’t want the male lead to break down and admit his sins. Funny thing about that!
And finally…I did not recognize either of the male leads from the film. Which didn’t mean much to me because it was really the girl who gave a stunning performance. The guys were just so much milquetoast as far as I was concerned. But upon reading the credits at the end, I came to realize that one of the actors was (allegedly) a regular of a “girlfriend” with whom I was indiscreet enough to convene on numerous occasions a few years ago.
Predictably, she was starstruck and constantly referencing “Jerkoff did this and Jerkoff did that.” And all’s I could think was “Geez! This guy could have his pick of the litter. Why would he choose this girl?”
Regardless, the entire viewing experience felt very close to home as a result of the three aforementioned observations. And from the perspective of a movie-viewing experience, I found the time spent gratifying based on the woman’s performance. She had but two months to learn her Polish lines and cultivate her accented.
I recommend the film to all. It moves a little slowly and the plot gets a tad contrived. But again, the girl is the thing. Subtlety and nuance are rarely the province of the flatbacking set. And it was nice to see those two qualities portrayed in the character – even if it was totally fictitious.