The year is 1892 and Irish immigrants Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) and Shannon (Nicole Kidman) have arrived at a shipping port in Boston, greeted by enticing faces who offer them jobs and safety...for a price.
Joseph has used Shannon to help cross the Atlantic; there's a long prologue in which their characters are set up. Essentially they become a romantic couple as time progresses, even though they're very different from each other - Joseph being from a poor upbringing and Shannon from a prosperous one.
Joseph gets a job as a boxer for the local Irish ghetto warden boss, while Shannon becomes a dancer/stripper at one of the warden's bars.
The movie was directed by Ron Howard and was one of those post-marriage Cruise/Kidman movies. It got some hype when it came out, and then it died.
Props must be given - direction is good and the sets are realistic. It really evokes the late 19th century and most of the stuff seems genuine (reminded me a bit of "Gangs of New York" to be honest).
However, the acting is atrocious. Cruise can't sport a consistent Irish accent for the life of him. Kidman is okay but I've seen her give far more convincing performances.
Overall this love story set in immigration America had potential and is pretty to look at, but the tale is a bit alienating due to the poor performances from the lead actors.