Friday, November 21, 2008
Two Reasons I Recommend you watch The Visitor
1. I love the story. Not so much for it's themes on immigration/citizenship/illegals, of which I could see some viewers seeing as preachy or "message film"...but I think director/screenwriter Thomas McCarthy's biggest messages in this film are similar to some of the messages in his first film, a favorite of mine, The Station Agent. The theme of community in film is one I watch for, and McCarthy's two films, The Station Agent and now The Visitor are excellent examples of our needs for interdependence, rather than independence. The way McCarthy intertwines the characters in this film is beautiful. He really paints a picture of the value and necessity of living in community, rather than isolation.
2. I love the acting talent. I've only seen bits and pieces of these actors in various projects, but hardly enough to pay any of them attention. But Thomas McCarthy, much as he did with the Station Agent, really displays the talent of entertainers who haven't had the opportunity to display such strong character performances. It's hard to tell who deserves the credit, the directing, writing, or acting when it comes to the performances of Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass, Danai Gurira, and Haaz Sleiman...but I think they are all wonderful, and I would be pleased to see Jenkins and Abbass both get Oscar nods.