I firmly believe that every year is a good year for movies, but let’s be real – 2007 is a little more good than most, with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great cinema. That judgement holds even more water now that I’ve added The Visitor to my list of favorite films from 2007, because yeah, it’s pretty great.
It’s a small film, just like the other Tom McCarthy film I’ve seen (and love) The Station Agent, but with some very big ideas and emotions. Main character Walter (Richard Jenkins) is an economics professor who’s basically checked out of everything – he’s been teaching the same class for twenty years and it doesn’t matter to him, the book he’s supposed to be writing doesn’t matter to him, nothing matters to him. He’s trying to take piano lessons when we first meet him, and he gives up on that almost immediately, too, unable to carry through his attempt to hold onto something of his late wife, who had been a pianist.