Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Visitor

I liked the first third, didn't like the last third, and kind of liked the last third. SHR couldn't make it past the halfway point.

Was the plot a bit contrived? Yes. In fact, a lot bit. But I was able to buy into it for the most part. SHR was not. She just didn't buy that such a grumpypants professor in Connecticut would let two immigrant squatters stay in his Manhattan apt. upon discovering them. I didn't have a problem with that because otherwise the whole movie falls apart and the lonely professor can't change in profound ways.

The performances are good. The plot is interesting but I couldn't help feeling that the characters just weren't all that well-written. McCarthy was more concerned about telling the story than writing interesting characters. We don't need the characters to explain themselves in big pronouncements. The most effective part of the movie has no dialogue and is all the more devastating for it.

Overall, this is a letdown after The Station Agent.

Directed by Tom McCarthy


mas said...

I agree that things felt a little forced at times in terms of the relationship between the main character and the younger couple (in ways "The Station Agent" did not suffer from), but I thought the immigration angle was an interesting twist for the last half of the movie that worked for me more than it did for you.

I also really liked the relationship that developed between the main character and the younger guy's mother.

Listmaker said...

yeah, the relationship between the prof and the mom was good but it reminded me of the relationship in another recent movie i saw (the band's visit) that was much better than this film.

the immigration stuff was indeed interesting but it also felt a bit heavyhanded to me.

Linda Margaret said...

It's disappointing after "The Station Agent", I agree. I would have liked it better if I hadn't seen that movie first.