Visitor (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

Hailed as "one of the year's most intriguing dramas" (Claudia Puig, USA Today), The Visitor stars Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) in a "perfect performance" (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly) as Walter, a disaffected college professor who has been drifting aimlessly through his life.

When, in a chance encounter on a trip into New York, Walter discovers a couple has taken up residence in his apartment in the city, he develops an unexpected and profound connection to them that will change his life forever.

As challenges arise for his tenants Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and Zainab (Danai Gurira), Walter finds himself compelled to help his new friends, and rediscovers a passion he thought he had lost long ago.

Written and directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent), internationally-renowned Hiam Abbass (Munich) co-stars in "the year's first genuine must-see film" (Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post) about rediscovering life's rhythms in the most unexpected places.


Studio Starz/sphe
SKU 208648944
UPC 013138304582
UPC 14 00013138304582
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 1/5/2010
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Independent Spirit (2009) Haaz Sleiman, Nominee, Best Supporting Male,Richard Jenkins, Nominee, Best Male Lead,Thomas McCarthy, Nominee, Best Director
Oscar (2009) Richard Jenkins, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Screen Actors Guild (2009) Richard Jenkins, Nominee, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Image Award (2009) The Visitor, Nominee, Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review It's a pleasant thing to encounter occasionally a movie in which people are portrayed as decent (if flawed) individuals. In The Visitor, there are no human villains. No one wears a black hat. The antagonist is The System - the nameless, faceless arm of a bureaucracy that flexes its muscles and crushes whoever happens to be in its grip at the time. In this case, it's the Immigration Department, but it might be any of thousands of government and private organizations where the "human element" has been eliminated in favor of procedures. However, while the struggle against The System forms an important aspect of The Visitor, this is much more about the growth of one man who discovers that the island of solitude is a cold and lonely place...We all know Richard Jenkins even if we don't recognize the name. He's a character actor who has appeared in supporting roles with increasing regularity since the early '80s. The Visitor, written and directed by The Station Agent's Thomas McCarthy, gives Jenkins a rare lead part and he brings to it a mixture of pathos and wit. The chief pleasure of The Visitor is in watching Jenkins' character, Walter Vale, grow. Jenkins never overplays the role, opting for a low-key approach that makes the one scene where Walter boils over all the more effective. A lot of heart goes into the performance; when Walter encounters something that gives him a brief flurry of happiness, we smile with him...The Visitor might easily be called The Awakening of Walter Vale...The Visitor ends on an ambiguous, bittersweet note, but the last scene offers a portrait that is tinged more with hope than sadness. This is a simple story of human drama that provides an incentive to spend a couple of hours in a movie theater during a spring that has not provided many such reasons.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Richard Jenkins is an actor who can move his head half an inch and provide the turning point of a film. That happens in "The Visitor," where he plays a man around 60 who has essentially shut down all of his emotions. A professor, he has been teaching the same class for years and cares nothing about it. He coldly rejects a student's late paper without even enquiring about the "personal problems" that made it late. He makes an elderly piano teacher figure out for herself why she will not be needed again. His lips form a straight line that neither smiles nor frown...He is forced to travel from his Connecticut campus to New York, to present an academic paper he co-authored. At least he is honest. Protesting the assignment, he tells a colleague he agreed to put his name on the paper as a favor, has not read it, is not competent to present it. He has to go anyway...This is a wonderful film, sad, angry, and without a comforting little happy ending. But I must not describe what happens, because the whole point of serious fiction is to show people changing, and how they change in "The Visitor" is the film's beauty. So much goes unsaid, and unseen...All four actors are charismatic, in quite different ways. Hiam Abbass is one of those actresses who respects small gestures; she knows that when a good cook is using an unfamiliar salt-shaker, she shakes the salt first into her hand, and then throws it into the pot. And she has other small gestures here that are much more fraught with meaning. Haaz Sleiman and Danai Gurira, as a musician and a jewelry-maker, are young, in love and simply nice people. The less complicated they are, the better the characters work. And as Walter, Jenkins creates a surprisingly touching, very quiet, character study. Not all actors have to call out to us. The better ones make us call out to them.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Claudia Puig, USA Today You can't help but be uplifted.
Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter A compelling and illuminating story of four people who form an unlikely and momentary friendship of considerable depth.
Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Tonight Brilliant and nuanced performances.
Lou Lumenick, New York Post ...turns Richard Jenkins, one of the best character actors in the business, into a full-fledged star.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone A heartfelt human drama that sneaks up and floors you. Oscar, take note.
Rex Reed, The New York Observer Moving, humane and life-affirming.
Stephanie Zacharek, Eloquent and unassuming, it's a picture that hits home precisely because it doesn't overreach its grasp.

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