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'The Immigrant' — starring Oscar winner Cotillard — to open Chicago Film Fest

Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard in “The Immigrant”

When the 49th annual Chicago International Film Festival kicks off Oct. 10, the opening night film will be “The Immigrant,” starring Marion Cotillard — in her first English-language lead role, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner.

At his point, the film’s director, co-writer and producer James Gray (“Little Odessa,” “The Yards,” “We Own The Night,” Two Lovers”) will be on hand to walk the red carpet at the 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 gala opening.

Set in 1921, “The Immigrant” is about Ewa Cybulski (Cotillard) and her sister Magda arrive in New York to start a new life in America. Unfortunately, as they go through Ellis Island, doctors discover Magda is ill and quarantined — while Ewa is forced to enter New York without friends or family. Desperate, she is taken advantage of by the evil Bruno (Phoenix) who forces her into prostitution.

Enter Orlando (Renner), Bruno’s cousin, who comes to restore Ewa’s faith in humanity — but there are further twists to this tale.

This 49th edition of the Chicago International Film Festival, founded by artistic director Michael Kutza, runs Oct. 10-24. For information about tickets for opening night and the entire festival go to