Cotillard will play Sonya Cybulski, a woman attempting to immigrate from Poland. Her American dream turns into a nightmare. While sailing to Ellis Island and a new start, her sister grows deathly ill and she is forced to trade sexual favors for medicine and food to keep her sister alive. Once they land, she is warned to keep quiet about what happened. Though she does, she walks away with immigration papers that deem her a woman with bad morals. With no place to go, she falls prey to Bruno Weiss (Phoenix), a charming sleazebag, who persuades her to turn tricks in New York. Renner will play the Bruno's cousin Orlando, a magician who sweeps the young woman off her feet and is her best chance to escape the nightmarish life she has fallen into.