The Visitor tells the story of a gentle, middle-age college lecturer who leads a somewhat lonely and routine existence since the death of his wife.
His world is transformed after he discovers two illegal immigrants have been renting his flat (quite how this happens is left unanswered!). He is slowly drawn into their world, forming a deep friendship which upturns his life. One of the illegal immigrants is arrested - and... I won't reveal what happens as it's the main plot line.
This isn't really a plot driven movie, in the sense of action and depth of narrative. It's an actors', character movie. The film is mesmerizing because of the quality of the acting, especially from Ricard Jenkins who is truly beautiful in the role. His character is one of those quiet, bank manager types who never seem to engage with the world around them - which makes his performance so amazing, because you can't take your eyes off him. How someone can make so much out of such a seemingly introverted character with hidden depths, is a testament to his outstanding talent.
I didn't realize, when I saw this, that Jenkins had had an Oscar nomination for this role, and I was very relieved when I found out he had - it's restored my faith in the system.
A delightful film, well worth a watch if you like Indie or European films and something beyond the current Hollywood obsession with cardboard cut-out, but "oh, such a pretty face" acting.