Wednesday, April 8, 2009
THE VISITOR - MY KIND OF MOVIE!
I've noticed that the movies that I enjoy the most are frequently those that I know nothing about. For whatever reason, I have resisted reading any of the reviews for "The Visitor," so when I sat down last night to watch it, I had some vague idea that it had something to do with an airport. I'm so pleased with the surprises in this film, I think I will repeat the process: watch many more movies that I know nothing about. So, I guess I'll try to avoid spoiling your enjoyment by giving away major portions of the plot.
The acting is fantastic! It took me about 20 minutes to recognize Richard Jenkins, the actor who portrayed the dead father who frequently appears in the dreams and fantasies of his wife and two sons in "Six Feet Under." He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in "The Visitor," and in a personal interview he recently acknowledged that this film gave him the best role of his career. The actor who plays the young man from Syria (Hiam Abbass) is also wonderful, and I'm going to watch for him in future films.
I think a great deal of my response to this film came from empathy with the protagonist's solitary life. Even in the middle of a city, he is profoundly alone; he is also without a purpose in a world that is becoming increasingly remote - and at times, hostile. This is a redemptive movie, of course, since it focuses on our need for friends, lovers and companions. This film is set in New York City and the familiar landmarks are fitting backdrops for a film about alienation, loss and new beginnings. Please see it and tell me what you think.