The Visitor (2007)
In “The Visitor”, Richard Jenkins plays Walter Vale; a widowed college professor from New England who comes back to New York City for a lecture at a local conference. When he comes into an old apartment he keeps in the city, he stumbles upon a young couple staying in the apartment, Tarek, a Syrian man and Zainab, a Senegalese woman.
The film starts out very quiet and subdued in Connecticut and then when Walter reaches NYC and the young couple, he gets to see a different culture that he has never known. It becomes a culture clash for Walter and the couple that are cohabitating with him. It’s all for fun and games when a misunderstanding happens, and everything unravel before their very eyes.
I know that this movie was supposed to bring up the question of who belongs in this country and who doesn’t. I think the film didn’t delve into it like I thought it would. It barely scratched the surface. I realized that this is from Tom McCarthy who brought us “The Station Agent.” I have to say that this movie didn’t say anything of merit about immigration today.
Sidebar. I know that this is shallow, but I really got distracted by the Syrian man, Tarek. He is so attractive that it took me out of the movie.
I think that this is a great departure for Richard Jenkins, because people only know him as the dead father in “Six Feet Under.” I think if he gets meaty roles like this, he could get his name out there.