The Visitor

Director: Thomas McCarthy
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 1.5

Liberal baiting at its most blatant: a curmudgeon (Richard Jenkins) - who (irony alert) is a professor of economics in developing nations - meets a young couple (Haaz Sleiman and Danai Gurira) squatting in his NYC apartment who soften his cold heart and make him (and, hopefully, the audience) realize that illegal immigrants have feelings too and that the United States' policies regarding these individuals is harsh. Yes, Mr. McCarthy, I do understand that most illegal immigrants are hardly dangerous people - Sleiman is a kind, fun-loving, djembe-playing guy, his girlfriend Gurira makes jewelry - but laws are laws and (most) exist for a very good reason - I'm sure if I just planted myself in, say, Germany, and just decided to stay without proper citizenship someone there would eventually have a problem with that (does that mean that Germany is brutal and unfair?). While the policies of our post-9/11 country make acquiring citizenship more difficult than it was for my Grandparents and Great-Grandparents - and it's true, terrorists more than likely have funding and support that the poor and harmless do not have - declaring that America is "just like Syria" is extreme. The performances are lovely and understated, though if only things were as simple as McCarthy paints them, it would be a much nicer world.