Monday, April 21, 2008

The Visitor: B

Scott and I had Sunday brunch yesterday with Heather and Isabelle. Portlanders are crazy about casual weekend brunch. We were 16th in line for a table at Genies. We even unnecessarily expanded our carbon footprint on Earth Day and drove across SE to the also yummy Screen Door, but the line was just as long. So, we returned to Genies. Brunch was great though I got a little tipsy on a berry lemonade drink.

After brunch, we decided to go to a movie. Scott and Heather wanted to see The Ruins, which Isabelle and I would have reluctantly tagged along. However, I rolled my eyes and threw a tantrum about not wanting to see a silly horror pic. However, there really are not very many movies out -- although I want to see the documentaries Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. We settled on The Visitor, but we all really want to see Baby Mama starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but that doesn't come out until next week.


The Visitor caught my attention because it stars Richard Jenkins who has always seemed like an interesting actor since I saw him in Six Feet Under. The movie is about a Connecticut college professor and widower Walter Vale who has to deal with an Arab couple he finds living in his New York City apartment. Vale becomes friends with the charming boyfriend Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and takes on his cause when he is arrested and threatened with deportation.

The movie contrasts Vale's comfortable, but personally empty life with the young couple's optimistic struggle to live the American dream. The movie was a little too slow and moody with a lot of quiet scenes watching Walter Vale go through his day as a aimless widower and uninterested professor. It did a great job though of putting a face on the immigration issue and the reality of deporting people for senseless, bureacratic reasons.

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