The Visitor 2007

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(35) IMDb 7.7/10
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A poignant and often funny film about rediscovering joy in the most unexpected places, The Visitor boasts an international cast including Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman, Dabai Gurira and Haim Abbass. Sixty-two-year old Walter Vale (Jenkins) is sleepwalking through his life. Having lost his passion for teaching and writing, he fills the void by unsuccessfully trying to learn to play classical piano. When his college sends him to manhattan to attend a conference, Walter is surprised to find a young couple has taken up residence in his apartment. Victims of a real estate scam, Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and Zainab (Danai Gurira) have nowhere else to go. In the first of a series of tests of the heart, Walter reluctantly allows the couple to stay with him, a decision which completely changes his life... Forever.

Starring:
Amir Arison, Haaz Sleiman
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 43 minutes
Starring Amir Arison, Haaz Sleiman, Laith Nakli, Richard Jenkins, Maggie Moore, Hiam Abbass
Director Thomas McCarthy
Genres Comedy, Drama
Studio HIGH FLIERS
Rental release 9 February 2009
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film is not at all what I expected; it is an American film on a difficult subject - immigration/assimilation- which avoids the usual cliches. Indeed, it owes more to French films I think. The hero is a middle-class professor who fulfils one of the key rules of French films - he is effectively free from financial or commercial concerns. His encounters with the world of Syrian and Senegalese immigrants, and his possible escape from the dead world that has surrounded him since his wife's death are cleverly done without the need for the Disney ending. The film has a few sideways glances at America's view of immigrants but without getting itself in a tizzy. The film is about individual reactions to individuals. Its ending is both believable and affecting without being saccarine. Excellent playing by everyone.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Miss K TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Mar. 2009
Format: DVD
This is a film about a lonely, ineffectual man disconnected from the world. There are some very sweet funny moments that really make you smile and then some quite heartbreaking ones too. The story is definitely about a journey of self-discovery and though the film's ending seems inevitable, there are some lovely uplifting moments to be experienced in this intelligent and knowing drama.

Be aware that this is not a loud attention-seeking film filled with lots of action but it is highly effective in just being what it is. Fans of similar films, particularly 'HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG' but also films like 'Sleepwalking', 'Breaking and Entering' and 'Venus' are sure to like this! If you love quiet character-driven films that are culturally rich and deal with unlikely bonds between people, I highly recommend this for you!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By La Carolina on 29 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I left the cinema i was so impressed by this
film that i was almost run over by a car.
the theme of this film made me once again aware
of the true power of love..when it's not the
romantic love kind, but stems from the will to contact to an other
human being through the hart. I have ordered this
film with Amazon various times simply to give it
as a present and pass the message on.

caroline van wilgen, the netherlands
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jasmine Grant on 11 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
richard jenkins is brilliant in this role. Initially he comes across as a stilted almost mute individual, however as the film progresses you appreciate his gentle emotions. a lonely man who cares, but has had no reason or person to care for, he's pulled into the lives of 2 illegal immigrants. He finds himself drawn to their warm and vibrant attiude to life and soon discovers he doesn't want to let them go. this movie really expresses how culture, age, image and identity is realtively unimportant when people are in need whether because of homlessness or loneliness. we're all the same fundamentally and can create bonds with other humans. a wonderful movie, but needs the viewer to read between the lines.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Lindsay Shaw on 10 Nov. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Tom McCarthy's subtle film is all about surprise meetings between people of different cultures, and seeing beyond the fears and prejudices that have increased in the wake of 9/11.

A small but beautifully written and performed drama, it humanises much bigger issues and manages to be both disturbing and inspiring.

The surprise meetings begin with weary lecturer Walter's shock discovery of a Syrian-Senegalese couple innocently renting his flat from a conman. They continue with his gradual transformation as he learns from this young Syrian musician, Tareq, who becomes his friend. Then, when Tareq is arrested, Walter starts to experience the life of the illegal migrant. Further encounters come through meetings between Zainab, Tareq's proud but wary girlfriend, and his dignified mother,who has some prejudices of her own.

This is a film that rings true to life in every way - with its sensitively observed characters, cliche-free script, naturalistic shooting on the New York streets and subway, and its truthful wrestling with the issue of immigration.

Three are superb performances by veterans Richard Jenkins and Hiam Abbass as well as by newcomers Haaz Sleiman and Danai Gurira.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys quality drama.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By RavenLake on 8 Mar. 2009
Format: DVD
A well-written story and interesting characters make this film entertaining. The style is restrained and thoughtful -- no big corny Hollywood endings. Instead, we get to "slip into the shoes" of real people in a believable, gut-wrenching story that for most of us is unfathomable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Josette Valenti on 22 April 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Moving, accurate, to the point, no pathos, no necessary happy ending; just the sheer reality supported by brilliant actors.
Some shots reminding me of Hopper's paintings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Marr on 4 July 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie was recommended to me and I was thrilled to see I could get it on Amazon for such a great price and no delivery charges. I don't know how or why I had never heard of it as it is just the type of film I love. The plight of immigrants in today's supposedly multicultural world is highlighted here in a very sweet and touching way. I want to compare it to a movie as that is the best way for me to describe it but am stuck. A little bit like House of Sand and Fog and Babel but even though it is certainly sad, it is not gutting. The difference being perhaps that in The Visitor you feel the people who do NOT understand are the locals as surely by not allowing "visitors" they will be the ones who loose out.
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