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Plot, Details & Awards

The Visitor

(2008)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

PG-13 In Theaters 04/11/2008 , 103min.
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Plot & Details

A lonesome widower and college economics professor finds his mundane existence suddenly shaken up when he befriends a pair of illegal immigrants, one of whom has recently been threatened with deportation by U.S. immigration authorities, in the sophomore feature from The Station Agent director Tom McCarthy. Years after losing his wife, 62-year-old Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) has also lost his passion for writing and teaching. In an effort to fill the empty void that his life has become, Walter makes a half-hearted attempt to learn to play classical piano. Later, when Walter's college sends him to a conference in Manhattan, he is surprised to discover that a young couple has moved into his seldom-used apartment in the city. Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and his Senegalese girlfriend Zainab (Danai Gurira) have fallen victims to an elaborate real-estate scam, and as a result they no longer have a place to call home. When Walter reluctantly allows the couple to remain in his apartment, talented musician Tarek insists on repaying his host's kindness by teaching him to play the African drum. Over the course of Walter's lessons, the ageing academic finds his spirits revitalized while gaining a newfound appreciation for New York jazz clubs and Central Park drum circles. Later, Tarek is arrested in the subway and threatened with deportation after police learn that he is an undocumented citizen. Suddenly, in his attempt to help his new friend, Walter's passion for life is unexpectedly awakened. When Tarek's radiant mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass) arrives in the city in search of her son, that passion turns to romance -- something that Walter had previously thought he would never experience again.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Richard Jenkins Nominated

Toronto International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2007 Toronto International Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

Broadcast Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Actor Richard Jenkins Nominated

Chicago Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actor Richard Jenkins Nominated

Dallas/Fort Worth Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Dallas/Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Picture Nominated

Edinburgh International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Actor Haaz Sleiman Nominated
2008 Independent Spirit Awards Best Director Won
2008 Independent Spirit Awards Spotlight Award Richard Jenkins Nominated
2008 Independent Spirit Awards Best Actor Richard Jenkins Nominated

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

Melbourne International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2008 Melbourne International Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

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