Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 12 September 2011 00:00

"The Visitor" Is a Welcome Guest

collider.com collider.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

Webster University's Year of International Human Rights Film Series continues on Thursdays through the month of September with writer/director Thomas McCarthy's The Visitor. It's a simple story of transformation, kindness, and the triumph of human compassion. Arriving in New York City for a conference, Professor Walter Vale surprisingly finds two illegal immigrants living in his apartment.

Shocked, nevertheless Walter responds empathetically to Syrian Tarek's and Senegalese Zainab's predicament. Though this may sound ridiculous and forced, the marvelous performances of Richard Jenkins as Walter, Haaz Sleiman as Tarek, and Danal Gurira as Zainab bring real, believable human beings to vivid life. In fact, Richard Jenkins received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his superb portrayal of Walter, a widower, a bit adrift, an everyman instead of a Hollywood star. In a Q&A at Webster University last December 1st, Jenkins said that among the most valuable lesson in his years of acting was to stop trying. "Forget about it and it comes to you," he said. And he models the brilliance of that kind of acting.

Walter is drawn to the energy of Tarek who plays drums on Manhattan's streets. Soon Tarek begins to teach Walter to play, and his sadness evolves slowly but surely into a quiet joy. Zainab continues to make jewelry and earn a very modest income as a street vendor. The fourth important character is Tarek's mother who travels to New York from Michigan after her son is arrested in a subway misunderstanding. I won't give away the central events that follow.

McCarthy likes the offbeat tale and unusual individuals, meaning real ones. His Station Agent pleased and surprised many of us. He enlivens the restrained verbal and nonverbal details with careful observation. He rewards those of us who love the subtle glance that communicates volumes, and all four principals here are up to the challenge. Moreover, he takes on the thorny subject of illegal immigration and puts a human face on it without resorting to sentimentality or sappy ploys. The Visitor respects our humanity and our intelligence. And the music is terrific as well.

It's showing at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 15th only. For more information and the current schedule, you may call 314-968-7487 or go to the web at: Webster.edu/film series.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Wednesday
15

Lunch Beat St. Louis #25 @ KDHX

Lunch Beat St. Louis is a free lunch time dance party to let you slip away from the everyday. Bring your co-workers, and bring your friends because for this party the bigger, the better. The music begins exactly at Noon and lasts...


July
Thursday
16

reMAKE

Music is an integral part of our human existence, but how we have listened to it has changed over the years. Even if you aren’t spinning your favorite tunes on records anymore, there are better things to do with all those audio...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

0 users and 9839 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook