Thomas McCarthy’s The Visitor

I recently wrote a piece about Tom McCarthy’s The Visitor for The Nation‘s online section on books and the arts. Here’s how it opens:

On first glance, Tom McCarthy’s new film, The Visitor, seems to set itself up as one of those dreadful movies in which a white, male protagonist witnesses some predicament of people of color and then, innocently and chivalrously, proceeds to save them. Think Blood Diamond or Rendition or The Last King of Scotland. Some people cry during these movies; I usually yawn and check my watch. But The Visitor quickly turns the formula on its head. For one thing, the main conflict that propels the story is caused by all the characters, and, for another, whatever realizations are made at the end of the film do not neatly separate the characters as savior and saved.

The entire piece is freely available here: “Looking Past Clichés.”

(Photo credit: Overture Films)