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The Visitor

(DVD - 2008 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Visitor


Item Details

Walter Vale is a widower who teaches economics at a Connecticut university. He lives alone and is no longer motivated by his work. In New York to present a paper at a conference, he goes to the apartment that he has not visited in some time, but has kept since his wife was alive, only to discover a young couple living there. Despite their great cultural differences, Walter befriends Tarek, a Syrian citizen and drummer, and gradually builds a friendship with Esi, his girlfriend from Senegal. One day, when returning from Central Park with Walter, Tarek is arrested for jumping a stuck subway turnstile, despite the fact that he had paid. The police discover he does not have legal papers and transfer him to an immigrant detention center in Queens. Feeling responsible for and connected to Tarek, Walter decides to stay in New York to help and support him. Not hearing from her son, Tarek's mother arrives from Michigan to find out why, and she and Walter support one another while they attempt to free Tarek.
Title: The visitor
[videorecording]
Publisher: Burbank, CA :, Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment,, [2008]
Notes: Title from container
Special features: Playing the Djembe; "The visitor: an inside look" featurette; audio commentary with director Tom McCarthy and actor Richard Jenkins; deleted scenes
Summary: Walter Vale is a widower who teaches economics at a Connecticut university. He lives alone and is no longer motivated by his work. In New York to present a paper at a conference, he goes to the apartment that he has not visited in some time, but has kept since his wife was alive, only to discover a young couple living there. Despite their great cultural differences, Walter befriends Tarek, a Syrian citizen and drummer, and gradually builds a friendship with Esi, his girlfriend from Senegal. One day, when returning from Central Park with Walter, Tarek is arrested for jumping a stuck subway turnstile, despite the fact that he had paid. The police discover he does not have legal papers and transfer him to an immigrant detention center in Queens. Feeling responsible for and connected to Tarek, Walter decides to stay in New York to help and support him. Not hearing from her son, Tarek's mother arrives from Michigan to find out why, and she and Walter support one another while they attempt to free Tarek.
Audience: MPAA rating PG-13 for brief strong language
Local Note: 30.00 PG-13 2008 104 min. CC (c.1-4 10/08) mp
Branch Call Number: DVD F VIS
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Report This Mar 16, 2014
  • Jane_Sm rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An absolutely wonderful movie! Re-watched it recently and enjoyed it even more than the first time. Any one of the characters could be someone you know; on the one hand ordinary people, but each so strong in their own way and with such personal dignity. Each does the best they can in the circumstances life has dealt them.

Report This Nov 20, 2013
  • eLode rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I prefer stories delving into current issues of our time. Visitor intends to explore inequitable immigration procedures in New York City, despite a feint to a suburban college. The camera steps as far as the visitors’ room outside the dungeon, no further, then retreats to the waiting room for hints of generic disenfranchisement. The script switched the main role away from the person who forms the story arc to an affluent white citizen. Its cruel bias undermines better intentions. One quarter hour is spent setting up his anomie, of minimal effect later, rather than exploring the experience of the illegal immigrant. His ineffectual “good” intentions parallel the indulgent script. Richard Jenkins tries his best with the material. Haas Slieman totes his Tarek. Zanaib is a character suspended from function. Hiam Abbass as Mouna upstages with fewer lines and one third the time. Her character makes the only crucial turn to wrap this pastiche.

Report This Oct 06, 2013
  • JeanieG rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A great, off beat film. The acting is terrific. The storyline is realistic but not overdone. Wish more films were this good.

Report This Jul 22, 2013
  • ncs1961 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Happily, my 15 year old daughter and I stumbled upon this film the evening that the actor & director were at a local theater for audience talk back. This story has real appeal and shares important info that audience members may not otherwise get. Years later, while walking in Central Park, I heard the drumming and checked the film out of library for a little refresher. Even more satisfying this time.

Excellent film. Good story and good acting.

Report This Sep 24, 2012
  • kozakd rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of my favorite movies. The story unfolds unexpectedly and the characters are given time to develop. Walter starts as a depressed shell of a man and through his involvement with the trials of another family finds joy and purpose . Eventually we love and cheer for all of them.

Report This Sep 19, 2012
  • smurray13 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A beautiful film. Absolutely excellent!

Report This Sep 13, 2012
  • charmed04 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I agree with George Millar. There was so much potential for a truly great movie and it just didn't cut it. It really need new writers. To bad the actors did the best they could with what they had to work with.

Report This Sep 12, 2012
  • George Millar rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Could have been... should have been far, far better. Great idea... slowly told and poorly ended.

Report This Aug 29, 2012
  • Septum rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The main character is an American white male university professor specializing in the economics of developing countries. He is ruthless with his students, has no sense of faculty loyalty, and he is financially privilaged to own and maintain an apartment in New York and a house in Connecticut. All of these facts denote a highly insular individual who relishes his private spaces and personal power. There can be no doubt that he would feel emotionally assaulted by the invasive presence of strangers living in his own apartment in New York. Since there is no indication that he has any personal or political interest in social justice issues, such as belonging to a university action group or giving his book royalties to fight injustice in the struggling economies about which he writes, the context of the story becomes unrealistic because there is no "hook" to explain what grabs hold of this unkind university professor and suddenly inspires him to let strangers live in his apartment. This action is totally uncharacteristic and no explanation for this dangerous action is ever provided. There are a few other inconsistencies, but I cannot comment on those without giving away too much of the story. If you are willing to accept a few unnecessary flaws in logic within the story, then this movie has some positive comments on the value of love, family, and music.

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Report This Jul 22, 2013
  • ncs1961 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

ncs1961 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Report This Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

bdls206 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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Report This Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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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Report This Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Quotes

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Report This Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Tarek Khalil: Oh s**t! We have to get home! Zainab's gonna kill me, I'm on Arab time again. Prof. Walter Vale: What is "Arab time"? Tarek Khalil: It means I'm late by an hour. All Arabs are late by an hour, it's genetic, we can't help it.

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Report This Apr 17, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The Visitor Trailer

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