This little film enjoyed some buzz around Oscar time. In fact, Richard Jenkins was even nominated for best actor alongside Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn. I'm a huge Sean Penn fan, he deserves Oscars -- that's for sure, but I was rooting for Mickey Rourke this time. (He was awesome in the The Wrestler.)
Back to "The Visitor," there's not much to say. I liked the story idea, the topic, the drumming, and a scene or two, but the film is so soft and quiet, there's not much to get excited about. I respect Jenkins' body of work, but don't see Oscar anywhere in this picture. In fact, I thought Jenkins was much more impressive in Step Brothers.
Most of the film Jenkins plays a rather ordinary, apathetic, unremarkable individual. He's scripted a bit squirrelly and lacking compassion. Or course, events transpire that find inside him a spark of compassion. I love the idea, but the spark never catches fire to the film. Our patience with the characters' apathy and uninteresting demeanor is not rewarded in kind. There are some good quality character interactions, but not enough in quantity or intensity to overcome the "this happens, then that happens" progression.
Actually, I'm reminded of a Nicolas Cage film similiar in nature The Weatherman. Give that one a try instead.
-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --