Visitor, The
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass, Haaz Sleiman , Danai Gurira. Comedy/drama. Written and Directed by Tom McCarthy.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A college professor becomes embroiled in the lives of a young immigrant couple living in New York City and stumbles into an unexpected romance as a result. As these strangers struggle to deal with their individual lives in a changed world, their shared humanity is revealed in awkward, humorous and dramatic ways.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Heres what I loved about this film. It was a gentle character study about a man shut off from the world suddenly opening up to those around him. And the film points out that different nationalities can actually complement one another. Thats not a conservative or liberal consensus. Or shouldnt be. We are like pieces of a puzzle designed to work together in order to make a living, breathing picture. I know, it sounds like Im going to start handing out daises. But when we get past the barriers of politics we start coming together, appreciating the gifts God has given all of us.

The film is well cast down to the smallest roles, the direction seamless and though the pacing will be slow to those more accustomed to action thrillers than dramatic character studies, still there is a rhythm and a rhyme to the story that maintains an interest.

Alas, though I understand the filmmakers agenda to tell a personal story that will aid in changing our immigration system - still its a pretty one-sided argument. We see a good man deported, separated from his family and his dreams of a better life here in the U.S. The filmmaker may be asking us to examine alternatives, or perhaps hes just condemning us. But it must not be forgotten that while this is a good man, he is here illegally.

Im always amazed at which laws people will uphold and which they will ignore. I dont consider myself an authority on immigration, but shouldnt laws be changed rather than just ignored. That said, at least this filmmaker is opening the question to debate. Debate is good. True art makes you think and feel. This film does both.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Overture Films

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: When a man thinks his girlfriend is being attacked by a burglar he utters three or four obscenities; two uses of the s-word later on used in exasperation.
Profanity: I caught no misuse of Gods name, or Christs.
Violence: A man is pushed up against a wall when another thinks hes a burglar.
Sexual Intercourse: The Syrian man is living with his girlfriend; a middle-aged couple get into bed together, but merely comfort one another.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: The male lead drinks wine throughout.
Other: The film puts a friendly face on Muslims and Arabs while picturing most Americans as uncaring, inane and wrong-headed. And though the main character provides for those in need, it is they who give him a soul. Im not sure thats an accurate portrait.
Running Time: 108 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (