Director: Thomas McCarthy
Cast: Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman
The Buzz: Nominated in the Best Leading Actor category
The Run: Won the NBR Spotlight Award
The Visitor released in 2007 but Richard Jenkins is nominated for this year’s Oscars, making it a close race between three great performances. He may lose out, but not without this massive fight. His timid performance reminds one immediately of Gene Hackman’s in The Conversation (1974, not to mention the penchant for the musical instruments) and this perhaps may make the voters a bit skeptic.
Save the last 20 minutes or so, The Visitor is decidedly an achievement of great proportions. The climactic portion of the film, so very unfortunately, takes side and tries to gain sympathy for its characters. What it did with its quiet brilliance, in the larger part of the film, is put under threat with this needless change of tone. The question it handles is a very sensitive one – not only bound by individualistic morals but by the rules of the law, economy and society. Sadly, The Visitor tries to simplify it all.