The Visitor

The Visitor


The Visitor review

Film description

Written and directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent), this US indie is an impeccably liberal post-9/11 drama.

Its protagonist is widowed professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), who appears to be sleepwalking through his humdrum existence.

However, an encounter at his New York apartment with a pair of illegal immigrants – Syrian musician Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and his Senegalese jewellery designer girlfriend Zainab (Danai Gurira) – is the catalyst for the sixtysomething’s emotional awakening.

An economical and largely understated film, The Visitor sees veteran character actor Jenkins deliver a satisfyingly restrained central turn.

He’s impressively supported by Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas (Lemon Tree) in the role of Tarek’s dignified mother. Extras were unavailable at press time, but the disc will include chat-tracks and a behindthe-scenes featurette.

Tom Dawson

Release Dates

UK Cinema release
July 4th 2008
UK DVD release
February 9th 2009
UK Blu-ray release
August 13th 2009