The Visitor (7/10)

The Visitor

Connection is everything

Overview

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

Metadata
Title The Visitor
Director Tom McCarthy
Director of Photography Oliver Bokelberg
Runtime 1 h 44 min
Certification PG-13
Release Date 7 September 2007
Tagline Connection is everything
IMDb Id tt0857191
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Richard Jenkins is one of those actors most people will recognise but you’re not quite sure what movie(s) you remember him from. He is a strong supporting actor, but in The Visitor he has the one lead role he has ever played in a movie to date – and it earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Jenkins plays Walter Vale, a Connecticut college professor who is lonely and bored, but not depressed; just going through the motions, pretending to be working on a book, pretending to want to learn to play the piano, pretending, well, to have a life. One day, much against his will, he has to deliver a presentation in New York. When he arrives there in his rarely used apartment, he finds a couple Tarek and Zaineb living there. Tarek is a Syrian musician, and Zaineb is a Senegalese who makes jewelry which she sells on the street market.

It turns out they have been scammed by a landlord who has nothing to do with Walter’s apartment, so they leave Walter’s place. But, having nowhere to go, Walter invites them back in to stay a little while whilst they look for another place. By doing so, and unbeknownst to him, he opens the door for himself to re-explore New York, life, friendship and passions.

There are some weaker elements to the storyline, but overall it is a lovely small film exploring ever-relevant and big issues on a small and personal scale.  Themes like (illegal) immigration, cultural diversity, shared passions and rediscovering purpose all fall neatly into place.

7/10.

The Visitor (7/10)
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