It's been five years since James Gray made good on the promise he showed with "We Own the Night" and The Yards," with the deeply felt romantic drama "Two Lovers," starring his go-to star Joaquin Phoenix. So hope for his new and most ambitious project to date to deliver the goods is very high. Given his track record and the fact this marks Phoenix's first role since scoring an Oscar nomination for his staggering turn in "The Master," signs point to "The Immigrant" being well worth the wait. In addition to Phoenix, the drama stars Marion Cotillard as a woman immigrating to the U.S. from Poland, whose sister falls ill while sailing to Ellis Island, forcing her to trade sexual favors for medicine to keep her sister alive. Phoenix plays a man who persuades her to turn tricks after arriving in New York. [Nigel M. Smith]
"Jodoworsky's Dune" and "La Danza de Realidad"
Alejandro Jodorworsky, the famed Chilean director of midnight cult hits like "El Topo," has not one but two reasons to visit Directors Fortnight this year: His "La Danza de Realidad" ("The Dance of Reality"), which draws from his memoirs of the same name, will premiere at the festival. Given the personal nature of the material, which follows Jodorworsky through his troubled childhood, it may point to a more intimate project for the octogenarian director. Even if it's a dud, though, audiences can still celebrate his mad genius with the documentary "Jodorworsky's Dune," which follows the director's ill-fated attempt to adapt the Frank Herbert sci-fi novel into a 10-hour feature scored by Pink Floyd. That project never made it to the finish line, but his ambition has finally received a well-timed tribute. It's been too long since the world appreciated this man's crazy genius. [Eric Kohn]