Visitor, The [Blu-ray]
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Stills from The Visitor (click for larger image)
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Beyond The Visitor
Also directed by Tom McCarthy
Top Customer Reviews
When he arrives in New York, he discovers that someone's bathing in his tub. That would be Zainab (Danai Jekesai Gurira), a young Senegalese woman who is as surprised to see him as he is her. The person sleeping in one of his beds is Tarek (Haaz Sleiman), a young Syrian man who sublet Vale's neglected apartment from a person that Vale doesn't even know.
Vale cannot turn the pair out into the street, so he allows them to remain. As their acquaintance grows, Vale learns how to play the djembe from Tarek and also the plight of illegal aliens--particularly Muslim ones, post 9/11 after Tarek is erroneously arrested in the subway over jumping the turnstile.
One of the most heartbreaking scenes in this movie is when Vale takes Zaineb and Tarek's mother Moona (Hiam Abbass) to Staten Island. The women, who are both illegal, see the Statue of Liberty in all her glory. Zaineb relates how Tarek, who is now in detention, used to ride the ferry and jump up and down every time Lady Liberty came in sight pretending it was the first time to be in America.
Vale, who'd failed piano lessons four times, learns there's music in everyone's soul. If you can't play the piano, move on to another instrument until you find one whose music is in sync with your own rhythm.
My husband and I left "The Visitor" wishing there was more, hoping that there was a good outcome for the characters. In the lobby, we met a man who'd attended the Sundance Film Festival where "The Visitor" screened for the first time. He told us this was the only film that year that got a standing ovation. I understand why.
Rebecca Kyle, May 2008
Coming back to a Greenwich Village flat he rarely uses, he is surprised to find a couple living there. Not squatters but unfortunate victims of a rental scam, they turn out to be illegal aliens, a Syrian percussionist named Tarek and his girlfriend Zainab, a Senegalese who makes and sells handcrafted jewelry. As withdrawn from life as Walter is, he slowly finds himself bonding with the couple and lets them stay indefinitely. Zainab is slow to trust Walter, but Tarek and Walter become close over a mutual love of African drums. As his wife was a famous classical pianist, Walter had been futilely attempting to find musical inspiration since her death. However, just as this charming tale of world harmony plays out, it comes back to harsh reality when Tarek is arrested and taken to a detention center in Queens for deportation.Read more ›
Bitter and bored college professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) travels to his New York apartment after being forced to attend a conference on global economization. Immediately he discovers a couple living in his home, and out of kindness and the appeal of company, he invites them to stay. Tarek Khalil (Haaz Sleiman) plays the drums, and soon gets the unsociable Walter to take up the instrument. Tarek's girlfriend Zainab is slower to acknowledge Walter's hospitality, but eventually warms to his presence.
When Tarek is arrested at the subway and taken to a detention center for illegal immigrants, Walter shows estimable concern for his newfound friend. Weighing his teaching job back in Connecticut against helping a man he's known for less than two weeks, Walter hires a lawyer to aid in Tarek's release. When Mrs. Khalil arrives to find out what's happened to her son, Walter finds himself rediscovering romance as well as what is truly important in his life.
Great care is taken to create sympathy for Tarek and Zainab, even though they are chiefly at fault for their uncertain positions. They've done nothing wrong in the eyes of the viewer, and its best that it stays that way - for the law they break is too complex to designate as morally right and wrong.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellently acted and relevant to today's problem. A very good story, with unexpected twists and realistic ending. Highly recommend.Published 2 days ago by Joseph A. Vitovec
Story of a lonely man who finds compassion for the struggles of immigrants.Published 17 days ago by Colbe Moe
Another one that made me laugh/smile/cry. Loved it! Now, whenever I see something with Richard Jenkins, because of this movie, I have to check it out.Published 1 month ago by Katie McAllaster
Great movie. I've been seeing previews for this movie for about a year now and just decided to purchase it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by eric christian
This is an excellent movie! I can watch it over and over! Great subject, awesome actors, a must see!Published 2 months ago by Rose
Anyone who doesn't understand the plight of undocumented immigrants should watch this movie. It was really good and sheds light on several very controversial subjects from a really... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Thomas Serface
THE VISITOR is a 90 minute color movie, taking place over the course of about one month some time in the present era. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tom Brody