Saturday, August 23, 2008

'The Visitor' Review

****1/2 Out of ***** (possible spoilers)'The Visitor' is the very well-crafted, slowly and subtly but surely powerful follow-up film to Thomas McCarthy's wonderfully moving, 'The Station Agent', and it is just as much a success, if not more so. Richard Jenkins is a revelation; It is good to see this character actor finally get a leading role in such a soon to be revered film. He plays a recent widower, set in his ways and the rut of his life, mired in malaise and unable to find his beat. Due to his job, he is sent to New York to attend some meetings/conferences and finds some illegal immigrants living in his apartment as a result of a real estate scam. What follows is an elegantly understated, unlikely friendship between he and three others, that if not for the scam, would've never occurred. Tarek and Walter become friends and share a bond as the foreigner teaches Walter the African drum. Troubling, however, is what Walter sees through Tarek and Zainab's eyes, they being Muslims in the post-9/11 New York, Tarek ends up becoming unfairly confined in literal xenophobia. What McCarthy is doing is using the Jenkins character as a microcosm of the state of this country now, like Walter, the country loses its way when it shuts itself off from other people (and world opinion of America's geopolitics). On another note, I really liked the romance between Tarek's mother and Walter, pitch-perfect and truly heartbreaking. I definitely recommend!!!

1 comment:

  1. You make this movie sound very interesting. I may have to watching it one of these days.