This Week’s Recommendation: The Visitor

4 Dec 2020 - 10 Dec 2020

This week's recommendation

The Visitor


2007, 104 mins. English language

Directed by Tom McCarthy

The Visitor was the 676th film screened by RFS on 29th March 2011. It  was the fourth ranked film of Season 48, with an audience rating of 87%. 

Director Tom McCarthy's debut was the much-loved 2004 release The Station Agent, previously shown by RFS, in which Peter Dinklage starred as the title character coming to terms with his solitude. Solitude also plays a part in The Visitor, which boasts an impressive central performance from Richard Jenkins. 

Jenkins - a character actor probably best known over here for his role as the deceased father in the TV series Six Feet Under - plays Walter, a widowed professor of globalisation based in Connecticut, whose job and indeed life offer him very few challenges.  On a trip to his apartment in New York (where he is to give a paper) he discovers a young couple staying in his flat: he has been away for so long that it has been illegally sublet.

After some initial misunderstandings, Walter makes friends with the visitors - a Syrian man and his Senegalese girlfriend.  Soon Walter is learning to play the drums with his new flatmates and his lonely life is beginning to turn around.  But when the authorities intervene to question the residential status of the two foreigners, Walter's new-found happiness is threatened. 

Although this may sound bleak, it isn't. McCarthy, who also authored the script, injects plenty of charm and black humour and the talented cast make it easy to watch.

(With acknowledgements to Tiscali.com0.

Full film notes available in the Twickenham & Richmond Tribune -

The Visitor does not appear to be available to be streamed but the disc is available from Amazon and others.

Presented by Richmond Film Society



Presented by Richmond Film Society

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