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The Visitor

I saw The Visitor last night, the story of an economics professor who gets entangled with a couple of illegal immigrants and whose life changes because of his relationships with them. A few observations.

There aren’t many movies about economics professors. Through most of the movie, Professor Vale is portrayed as an emotionally dead person. (There are other reasons for this beside his profession but I don’t think it’s a coincidence.)

The only book title in Professor Vale’s office I could actually identify is The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman.

It was strange to watch a movie that is has a political message that I like. In this case the political message is that illegal immigrants are mostly harmless and are harassed by a faceless bureaucracy that treats them badly. It was a weird feeling. Usually I enjoy a movie despite its politics. In this case, even though I am in sympathy with the message, I found it a bit heavy-handed. I wonder if anyone who is anti-immigration or anti- illegal immigration would find themselves reconsidering their position after watching it.

The acting and dialogue are suberb and there are many wonderful moments in the film. But at times, I found the professors hesitancy painful rather than engaging.



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