In “The Visitor”, I was presented with a whole new perspective on the issues of immigration and asylum for refugees. A college Professor, Walter Vale (played by Richard Jenkins), is based out of town but goes to stay in his New York apartment while he attends a conference. When he lets himself into his own place, he is appalled to find strangers living there. They are illegal immigrants Tarek (by Haas Sleiman), from Syria and Zainab, (by Danai Gurira) from Senegal, who have been tricked into renting the apartment in a scam. Walter reluctantly lets them stay but slowly he finds he actually enjoys their company. Tarek is arrested and put into a detention centre and Walter realizes he is Tarek’s only contact and the only one able to help him. Walter becomes an advocate and his experience is beautifully portrayed. It’s an interesting perspective to see Walter depicted as the alien (he is really The Visitor) in this world that has become so multi-cultural and so changed for immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, since 9/11. This understated film is quietly affecting and very good. It will inhabit your thoughts long after the closing credits.
Ruby’s tags:action Alec Baldwin Al Pacino Amy Adams Australian Ben Mendelsohn Bill Nighy biography Bradley Cooper Brad Pitt British Carey Mulligan Cate Blanchett Charlotte Rampling Clint Eastwood Colin Firth Comedy documentary drama Emily Watson Emma Stone Emma Thompson Ewan McGregor foreign French Geoffrey Rush George Clooney Guy Pearce Harrison Ford Helen Mirren Jackie Weaver Jake Gyllenhaal James Franco James Gandolfini Jennifer Lawrence Jessica Biel Jim Broadbent Joel Edgerton John Goodman Judi Dench Julianne Moore Justin Timberlake Kate Winslet Kristin Scott Thomas Maggie Smith Mark Ruffalo Matt Damon Meryl Streep Mia Wasikowska Michelle Williams movies Naomi Watts Nicole Kidman Oscar Paul Giamatti Peter Sarsgaard Philip Seymour Hoffman Rachel McAdams Richard Gere Richard Jenkins Robert De Niro Robert Redford Rosamund Pike Russell Crowe Ryan Gosling Sally Hawkins sci-fi Sean Penn sport Stanley Tucci thriller Tom Wilkinson Vera Farmiga Viola Davis woody Allen
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