Monday, January 26, 2009

MOVIE: The Visitor

In The Visitor, a mind-numbingly depressed college professor heads to NYC to give a talk on a paper he "co-authored" only to find a couple of illegal immigrants squatting in his apartment. And everything unfolds from there.

Very powerful acting from everyone involved: Richard Jenkins (as Prof. Walter Vale,) Haaz Sleiman (Tareek,) Danai Jekesai Gurira (Zainab,) and Hiam Abbass (Tareek's Mom.) Moving stuff. Superbly natural interactions and dialogs. Subtle, but deeply touching and thought provoking. It was worthy of at least some NOMINATIONS for an Oscar, but as far as I can tell, it was unduly snubbed.

Very well written and directed. Low brow, close to the bone stuff. Fascinating and subtle portrayal of New York. Made me want to visit. Nothing fancy or elaborate. Just a good plot, good pacing, nothing overwhelming or distracting from the meat of the tale, and a fantastic performance by the cast.

Amazingly, I had nothing to complain about. And I'd happily sing additional praises about The Visitor. But saying too much would detract from its value. Bottom line for me: one of the best indie movies I've seen in a long while.

Very good date movie. I wish I had seen it on the big screen with Cindy by my side and a tub of popcorn. While it is safe for kids, I don't think they'd appreciate it. And it is absolutely worth a rental. Put it on the Netflix queue immediately and thank me later.

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