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Stream This: Marion Cotillard deserves Oscar attention for 'The Immigrant'

Meanwhile, the experimental doc "Manakamana" will clear your mind and "Anchorman 2" goes super-sized.

‘The Immigrant’
Netflix Instant

The Weinstein Company, it was recently announced, is marshaling all its forces to get an Oscar nod for Jessica Chastain in “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.” Chastain deserves it — but so does another of the distributor's performances: Marion Cotillard in “The Immigrant.” Dumped into theaters with little fanfare in the spring (and ignored by its distributor even when it raked up two choice prizes from the New York Film Critics Circle),it finds Cotillard’s Polish immigrant tries to make a go of it in 1920s New York, which proves especially hard after she winds up in the clutches of a dangerous pimp (Joaquin Phoenix).

In more ways than one, “The Immigrant” is a film out of time — a retro melodrama from retro sylist James Gray, whose films (“We Own the Night,” “Two Lovers”) summon the heaviosity of a bygone Hollywood era for today.Filmed (on film) in smoky ochre tones, it dedicates a fair chunk of its length to that old standby: the close-up. Cotillard doesn’t speak much, but the camera gets in close, studying a performance performed largely in minute expressions, and a face, with those aching wide eyes, that’s one of the most thrilling in the movies. Cotillard may wind up with an Oscar nom for another forthcoming film: the Belgian drama “Two Days, One Night.” But even if it winds up short on trophies, “The Immigrant” at least deserves more eyes.

‘Manakamana’
Netflix Instant

Depending on your tastes "Manakamana" either sounds wonderful or deadly: This two-hour experimental documentary perches its camera in front of various people riding a cable car going up to or down from a Nepalese mountain temple. There’s no context, only sporadic conversation, and sometimes they’re not people but goats. (There’s also a squealing stray kitten scaling some bros.)It’s less a film than a place — a time-suck ripe for meditation as well as some primo people-watching.

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‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ (Super-Sized Version)
Netflix Instant

Will Ferrell and his comic director compadre Adam McKay once swore he wouldn't do sequels — a promise he broke when there was enough clamor for more of Ferrell's Ron Burgundy. Luckily it got the mix mostly right: it's about 25 percent retread and 75 percent more of the serious loopiness that marks their best work. Now you can watch both the original cut and the 23-minute longer one that promises 763 more jokes. Still, if the sequel floodgate is open for these two, they should at least get cracking on “Step Brothers 2.”

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 
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