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Sunday, September 07, 2008

MOVIE: The Visitor

I went and saw this movie with Lauren on the weekend and was pleasantly entertained. If there's a criticism of the film it's that it maybe tries to cover too many topics in one film. You have the emotionally damaged (verging on autistic) professor who is unlocked by the strangest of friends, two illegal immigrants, who he discovers are staying in his abandoned New York apartment. Then the film takes a right hand turn as it delves into the injustice of US immigration policy, before doing a u-turn and getting back on the road to Hollywood with Professor Broken-Soul daring to find love after years without his wife. It's like watching Dead Poets' Society and Good Will Hunting and Rabbit Proof Fence and "any film where a guy gets over his wife's death by falling in love again with an exotic woman" all rolled into one... sort of.

Having said that, there are some nice moments which make you ask yourself some pretty harrowing questions. For anyone who has ever had a run in with the bureaucracy, there is a great scene at the end where our hero is asked to "step away from the window" by a unsympathetic immigration official. I found myself inscensed by the apathy of the officer as well as his cowardice in hiding behind the fact that he was "just following the rules". (Is it obvious I'm having issues with a certain French embassy?)

But it was enjoyable. Better than Batman. : )

Music is great.

All in all, treat it as a movie and not a Phd and you won't be disappointed.

To watch the trailer, click here.


James Pender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Pender said...

After a discussion with Lauren last night, I think that maybe I was a little too harsh on this film. Things like this do happen in real life. My reaction reminded me of a part in my favourite film, Adaptation (which most of my friends have fallen asleep watching). In the film, the chronically insecure main character Charlie Kaufman, is ashamed to be attending one of those "Learn write a screenplay in 3 hours" seminars in order ot help him with his new screenplay. While there, he asks the leader of the seminar, the fictional script writing guru Robert McKee for advice on his new screenplay "the orchid thief" in which "nothing much happens".

This is Mckee's response.

Robert McKee: Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There's genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ's sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know crap about life. And why the FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don't have any use for it. I don't have any bloody use for it.

Charlie Kaufman: Okay, thanks.

So Lauren, before you Margaret Pomeranz all over my arse. There you go. My corrigendum is hereby filed.

8:00 AM