An extraordinary film

I saw one of the finest films I’ve seen this year, if not the best. A friend wanted to go, and I went with, not knowing much about it.

It’s “The Visitor“, and I suggest everyone to run out and see it. I’m saying this not because it could be a sleeper hit like “Juno” or “Once” last year or ev

en an Oscar contender, but because it is an amazing story told in an elegant way by fantastic actors.

It’s hard to tell who is visiting who. The story begins with a lonely widower professor (you’ll know him as the dead dad from “Six Feet Under”), bored with life and missing his wife. He’s forced to go to New York (he lives and Conneicut) for a conference, where he temporarily moves back into an apartment he’s kept there (and probably hasn’t visited since his wife died). Much to his surprise, a young mixed-nationality couple has moved in based on their friend Ivan’s say-so.

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The professor allows the couple to stay at the apartment anyway. The young man plays an ethnic drum of some kind (please excuse my ignorance), and the professor gets into it (he’s already failed piano lessons). The men become fast friends. From there, the story takes two very interesting twists that seem so natural are dealt with so seamlessly, you hardly notice they are twists. It simply feels real.

I won’t give away any more except to say that along with a great story, this is also one of the great New York movies I’ve seen. It really shows New York in all its (sometimes shitty) glory. The subway, the street musicians, the gross delis, the ugly coffee shops, and most importantly, the diversity. It’s the New York I’ve visited, and I’ve never really seen it shown correctly in a film before. Perhaps “Annie Hall” showed it honestly as it was in the mid-70s, but I wouldn’t really know.

So, go see “The Visitor” — 9/10 stars!

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