Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Weekend Movie Rental

By kevinkoczwara

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Another weekend, another movie rental suggestion (just a day late).

“The Visitor” played at Amherst cinema last spring. I got to go to a press screening, but never got to run the review in the paper because we ran out of time. So this is as good of a time as any to recommend this beautiful film.

Let’s start it off by saying the movie is a roller-coaster of high and low emotional peaks. It tackles subject matter that is very relevant (illegal immigration) and touches on the connection that human beings can make when they get to know one another. That is what I will say about what the film does…now to explain how it does it.

The movie has a simple plot: depressed professor, Walter Vale, of economics struggles with the death of his wife. He tries to compensate for it in so many ways. But can’t. Then he is sent to a conference to speak about a book he co-authored, but in actuality he just put his name on it.

He is sent to New York to talk about the book, and decides to stay in his old apartment that he keeps there. he hasn’t been there in months and some people have moved into the place in his absence. Confusion ensues and the movie turns into a tale of friendship, what music can do, and the human spirit.

Walter Vale, is played by long-time character actor Richard Jenkins. his performance is superb. His moves from detached to curious bystander to sympathetic friend. His performance is the core of the film and other characters and actors seem to feed off of him and balance.

Lets hope that Thomas McCarthy, the writer/director, can keep progressing with his next film.

1 Comment

One Response to “Weekend Movie Rental”

  1. allieroth on October 21st, 2008 3:30 pm

    i have to agree. when i saw this movie a few months ago, i had few expectations. I didn’t really know the plot. I only saw it because my mom said she loved Richard Jenkins because of his role in “Six Feet Under.”
    In the end, the movie was completely unique. So great that I have recommended it to 8 different people, all who were completely fond of the movie after seeing it.

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