The Visitor

Richard Jenkins soon may hear Oscar calling his name thanks to this heartwarming performance as a widowed college professor named Walter Vale who sleepwalks through his monotonous life. When Vale finds a Syrian man and his Senegalese girlfriend living in his Manhattan summer home, the professor rediscovers his long-lost passion with the help of the Syrian man’s love for music. Soon, the feds come to deport the two illegal aliens, giving Vale a newfound purpose: to help his new friends. Writer/director Thomas McCarthy delicately comments on post-Sept. 11 immigration policies without being too preachy or heavy-handed, making this film about the power of humanity quite touching.

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