7.6/10
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168 user 231 critic

The Visitor (2007)

PG-13 | | Drama | 23 May 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

Director:

Tom McCarthy

Writer:

Tom McCarthy
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Jenkins ... Walter
Haaz Sleiman ... Tarek
Danai Gurira ... Zainab
Hiam Abbass ... Mouna
Marian Seldes ... Barbara
Maggie Moore Maggie Moore ... Karen
Michael Cumpsty ... Charles
Bill McHenry Bill McHenry ... Darin
Richard Kind ... Jacob
Tzahi Moskovitz ... Zev
Amir Arison ... Mr. Shah
Neal Lerner ... Martin Revere
Ramon Fernandez ... Cop #1
Frank Pando ... Cop #2
Waleed Zuaiter ... Omar
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Storyline

In Connecticut, lonely widowed Professor Walter Vale has a boring life. He teaches only one class at the local college and is trying to learn how to play the piano, despite not having the necessary musical talent. Walter is assigned to attend a conference about Global Policy and Development at New York University, where he is to give a lecture about a paper on which he is co-author. When he arrives at his apartment in New York, he finds Tarek Khalil, a Syrian musician, and Zainab, a Senegalese street vendor, living there. He sympathizes with the situation of the illegal immigrants and invites the couple to stay with him. Tarek invites him to go to his gig at Jules Live Jazz. Walter is fascinated with his African drum and Tarek offers to teach Walter to play the drum. However, after an incident in the subway, Tarek is arrested by the police and sent to a detention center for illegal immigrants. Walter has just hired a lawyer to defend Tarek when, out of the blue, Tarek's mother Mouna ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Connection is everything See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Arabic | Romanian

Release Date:

23 May 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Visitor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$86,488, 13 April 2008

Gross USA:

$9,427,089

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,078,175
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The parking lot in which Walter parks his car after arriving in New York - on East 11th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue - was torn down shortly after the film was released. See more »

Goofs

In New York airport, the flight was announced as "flight to Syria", although it should actually name the airport (Damascus), not the country. But more importantly, there is no direct non-stop flight from New York to Syria. See more »

Quotes

Zainab: [Walter panting] Are you okay?
Prof. Walter Vale: Yes, Tarek has been giving me drum lessons and I was just practising.
[Zainab moves accross the floor]
Prof. Walter Vale: Don't worry I'll keep my pants on.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Baldwin's L2 grand piano See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Inspiring Immigration Movies (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata No. 21 in C Major
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven (uncredited)
Courtesy of APM Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding
25 April 2008 | by shybikerSee all my reviews

It's only about twice a decade that I run across a movie that really impresses me. It's usually an obscure film that I entered with no expectations -- but left blown away by its cinematic achievement.

I just saw such a film tonight. "The Visitor" A small independent production with zero-advertising. Made by Tom McCarthy whose prior film, "The Station Agent," was an imperfect, character-absorbed drama.

The star of this movie is an actor (Richard Jenkins) whom you'll recognize from his numerous roles as minor-characters, most notably the dead-patriarch in "Six Feet Under." All of the other actors are completely unknown, but notably talented.

The appeal of this film is its story. An aged, listless academic, whose wife died earlier, floats through his uninteresting life until something happens to jar him. What happens next is unexpected, interesting and poignant. It would ruin the story if I told it to you, so you'll have to trust me. Suffice it to say it's a story of rebirth.

Like most of my favorite films, it has comedy, pathos, surprises, authenticity and a philosophical examination of what it means to be human. In short, everything, even politics.

And the presentation is skillfully-crafted. McCarthy demonstrates what was good about his prior work without dragging it down with what was bad about that work.

See it.


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