The Visitor (I) (2007)

PG-13   |    |  Drama


The Visitor (2007) Poster

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

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7.7/10
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  • Haaz Sleiman at an event for The Visitor (2007)
  • Patricia Clarkson at an event for The Visitor (2007)
  • Richard Jenkins and Danai Gurira in The Visitor (2007)
  • Danai Gurira and Haaz Sleiman at an event for The Visitor (2007)
  • Richard Jenkins and Haaz Sleiman in The Visitor (2007)
  • Richard Jenkins in The Visitor (2007)

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16 May 2008 | adamshl
Small Comments
Mr. McCarthy's film seems to be working at several levels, a main one being the character development of Walter Vale, and another the effects of blind bureaucracy upon the human spirit.

It was interesting to see Vale's callous attitude toward one of his students early on when the lad was late turning in a class paper. The student's reason: some serious personal issues. Did the professor show any extra understanding or compassion for the young man? No; the paper was late and therefore simply unacceptable.

Yet when Vale wanted information and understanding later on at the immigration department when making inquiry about the deportation of Tarek Kahlel, what did he do but blatantly rant about how insensitive and unimpassioned was the system. This, after he'd previously witnessed a similar situation at the front desk with another frustrated inquirer.

What's the country to do, having immigration regulations in place: excuse and make special exceptions for certain illegal aliens? As Vale showed no interest in learning about his student's situation, he yet expected the immigration department to bend to his personal demands.

Vale was certainly a pathetic prof, drifting through life without energy or passion. His encounter with Tarek and his wife and mother all seemed rather arbitrary, allowing these relationships to become his interest, for lack of a better direction. Personally, I felt sorry for this glum character, yet mindful that the death of a spouse can cause some derailment in direction.

The cast was uniformly fine, with special kudos to Richard Jenkins and Haaz Sleiman.

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