The temptation to predict Oscar winners in April is one that should be avoided, but equally one that is difficult to resist. One look at the Counsellor got people handing out statuettes in Spring last year, but we’ve got a feeling the same mistake won’t be made for ‘The Immigrant’.

The ImmigrantMade up to the nines, Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cottilard and Jeremy Renner star in 'The Immigrant'

Like the fabled streets walked while trying to realise the American dream, ‘The Immigrant’ is paved with gold, glistening throughout the trailer with a sun blushed tint. Marion Cottilard plays the intrepid Ewa, who – having been promised a savoir in the form of Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Bruno Weiss – falls into the darker depths of an American nightmare. 

Twice in need of rescuing in 1920s Ellis Island, Ewa comes to rely on Orlando The Magician to conjure up something special after he falls for her. Jeremy Renner’s character is now dealing with an untrusting heroin given her experience with strange men in the land of opportunity, but has no choice but to trust her latest suitor. 

Watch the trailer for 'The Immigrant' here

The American period piece has already enjoyed a fruitful Cannes debut with critics raving. Jordan Hoffman of called it “the best movie of its kind since Elia Kazan,” while Variety’s Peter Debruge said it “cuts to the very soul of the American experience.”

And despite being set in the 1920s, the film has something to say about the modern experience of immigration to the United States, something that the director James Grey’s family has experienced. He is from Jewish-Russian descent. 

Joaquin Phoenix and Marion CottilardJoaquin Phoenix and Marion Cottilard start their dangerous journey

“This is not a popular idea for commercial purposes or for studios or anything, but I feel that the film has to be personal in some way, which doesn’t mean autobiographical, it’s not the same thing. Autobiographical is the facts of your life; personal means what you care about, what matters to you emotionally, what you’re trying to communicate,” he explained in an interview with Indie Wire the day before the film’s Cannes debut. 

“And I guess it was a process where I was trying to understand why my family is that way that it is, why our interactions are the way that they are, and in doing so, explore a bit of the background of what it meant to come to the United States from another country."

Marion CottilardWill Marion Cottilard become 'double Oscar-winning' Marion Cottilard