IMDb > The Visitor (2007/I)
The Visitor
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The Visitor (2007/I) More at IMDbPro »

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The Visitor -- A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.


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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Tom McCarthy (written by)
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Release Date:
23 May 2008 (USA) See more »
Connection is everything See more »
A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 21 wins & 30 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
McCarthy's Small Film Shows Passion Can Be Found in the Most Unexpected Places See more (170 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Richard Jenkins ... Walter

Haaz Sleiman ... Tarek

Danai Gurira ... Zainab

Hiam Abbass ... Mouna

Marian Seldes ... Barbara
Maggie Moore ... Karen

Michael Cumpsty ... Charles
Bill McHenry ... Darin

Richard Kind ... Jacob
Tzahi Moskovitz ... Zev

Amir Arison ... Mr. Shah
Neal Lerner ... Martin Revere

Ramon Fernandez ... Cop #1

Frank Pando ... Cop #2

Waleed Zuaiter ... Omar

Deborah Rush ... Upper Eastside Woman

Ashley Springer ... Student

Laith Nakli ... Nasim
Jacqueline Brogan ... Waiter
Walter Mudu ... Ronald Cole (as Walter T. Mudu)
Yevgeniy Dekhtyar ... Slavic Man
Earl Baker Jr. ... Lester James
Walter the Dog ... Sprinkles the Dog
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bandar Albuliwi ... Man in subway (uncredited)
Jesus A. Del Rosario Jr. ... Park Drummer (uncredited)

Brother Eden Douglas ... Airport Security Guard (uncredited)
Hristo Hristov ... Detainee (uncredited)

Waléra Kanischtscheff ... Cabbie (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Tom McCarthy 
Writing credits
Tom McCarthy (written by)

Produced by
Omar Amanat .... executive producer
Michael London .... producer
Patty Long .... line producer: Los Angeles
Chris Salvaterra .... executive producer
Mary Jane Skalski .... producer
Jeff Skoll .... executive producer
Ricky Strauss .... executive producer
Bergen Swanson .... line producer
John Woldenberg .... producer
Original Music by
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek 
Cinematography by
Oliver Bokelberg (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Tom McArdle 
Casting by
Kerry Barden 
Suzanne Crowley 
Stéphane Foenkinos 
Billy Hopkins 
Paul Schnee 
Production Design by
John Paino 
Art Direction by
Len X. Clayton 
Set Decoration by
Kim Chapman  (as Kim L. Chapman)
Costume Design by
Melissa Toth 
Makeup Department
Marc Boyle .... key hair stylist: Los Angeles
Stacey Panepinto .... key makeup artist
Leah Rial .... key makeup artist: Los Angeles
Elena Roulenko .... additional hair stylist
Lora Scrignoli .... key hair stylist
Kami Steele .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
J.M. Brown .... unit production manager: Los Angeles (as James M. Brown)
Jonathan Ferrantelli .... post-production supervisor
Jared Goldman .... unit production manager (as Jared Ian Goldman)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicholas R. Bell .... second assistant director
Anthony Blanco .... second second assistant director
Mariela Comitini .... first assistant director
Michael Del Polito .... second assistant director: Los Angeles
Gregory Santoro .... second second assistant director: Los Angeles (as Greg Santoro)
Art Department
Jamie Arbuckle .... set dresser
Albert Bianchini .... swing: Los Angeles
Jeremy Brehme .... swing: Los Angeles
Jacqueline Brogan .... artistic consultant
Craig Charland .... art production assistant
Olivia Dunn .... art intern (as Olivia K. Dunn)
Nicholas Ferrara .... art production assistant
Alison Ford .... assistant art director
Eric Friedewald .... lead person
Sean Haines .... on-set dresser
Colt Hausman .... camera scenic artist
Mark Johnson .... set decorator: Los Angeles
Julius Kozlowski .... key scenic painter
Glenn Lloyd .... art department coordinator
Charlie Nicholson .... on-set dresser: Los Angeles
Will Pangman .... set dresser
Kevin L. Raper .... graphic artist (as Kevin Raper)
Courtney Schmidt .... assistant property master
Alexis Weiss .... property master (as Alexis Bianca Weiss)
Christopher Yager .... set production assistant
Marian Ziola-Stoeffelmeier .... scenic painter (as Marian Zola)
John El Manahi .... scenic painter (uncredited)
Miles Michael .... set dresser (uncredited)
Niquan Riley .... props (uncredited)
Brendan K. Russell .... art department production assistant (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jamie Baker .... sound editor
Kevin Bowe .... boom operator
Damian Canelos .... sound mixer
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist
Mick Davies .... boom operator: Los Angeles
Elisabeth Giglio .... sound studio business manager: C5 Inc. (as Elizabeth Giglio)
Lewis Goldstein .... re-recording mixer
Heather Gross .... sound editor
Ruth Hernandez .... sound editor
Paul Hsu .... re-recording mixer
Paul Hsu .... supervising sound editor
Frank Kern .... sound editor
George A. Lara .... foley engineer
Nicolas Mazet .... boom operator (as Nico Mazet)
Cate Montana .... sound editor
James Nichols .... sound engineer: Dolby
D.J. Ritchie .... sound mixer: Los Angeles (as DJ Ritchie)
Adam Sanchez .... boom operator
John Sember .... boom operator
Sara Stern .... assistant sound editor
Michael Suarez .... sound
Lila Yomtoob .... sound editor
Dave Flynch .... sound editor (uncredited)
Eric Milano .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Gabriel Sanders .... boom operator (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Brian McNulty .... visual effects supervisor: Janimation
Jesse Morrow .... digital artist
Stephen Gaconnier .... visual effects producer (uncredited)
Mike Nuget .... digital cleanup artist (uncredited)
Michael P. Whipple .... digital intermediate engineer (uncredited)
Manny Siverio .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Rik Andino .... grip (as Ricardo Andino)
Carter Bissell .... best boy electric
Ian Bloom .... lighting technician (as Ian Bloome)
John Clifford .... still photographer
Richard Coronel .... film loader: China
John Corso .... camera operator: "b" camera
Dylan Crawshay-Williams .... grip (as Dylan Crawsnay-Williams)
Jaime D'Aquino .... second assistant camera (as Jaime Segschneider)
Alexander Engel .... lighting technician (as Alex Engel)
John Frisbie .... rigging gaffer
Michael Garner .... best boy grip: Los Angeles (as Mike Garner)
Wolfgang Held .... camera operator: "b" camera
Wolfgang Held .... camera operator: second unit
Theodore N. Hellmuth .... dolly grip (as Theodore Hellmuth)
Joel Jaspan .... key grip: Los Angeles
Ludovic Littee .... first assistant camera
Adam Lukens .... best boy grip
Jamie A. Marlowe .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as James Marlowe)
James McFadyen .... lighting technician
Ryan McGuffin .... company grip: Los Angeles
Mike 'Electric' Mervilde Jr. .... best boy grip (as Mike Mervilde)
Smokey Nelson .... gaffer
Zach Quinn .... camera production assistant: Los Angeles
Zachary Quinn .... camera production assistant
Micky Reeves .... best boy electric: Los Angeles (as Mike Reeves)
Roger Sassen .... gaffer: Los Angeles (as Roger Sasson)
Meg Schrock .... generator operator
Richard Shedden .... company electrician: Los Angeles
Richard Smock .... company electrician: Los Angeles
Elizabeth Stern .... grip
Walter Strafford .... key rigging grip
Jennifer Stuart .... second assistant camera: Los Angeles
Danny Veccione .... rigging grip
Matthew Walker .... key grip (as Matt Walker)
Brett Walters .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Joy Weber .... lighting technician
JoJo Whilden .... still photographer
Casey Wooden .... grip
Joe Belschner .... additional dolly grip (uncredited)
Paul Bode .... first assistant camera: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Ryan Cheresnick .... additional electrician (uncredited)
Rob Harlow .... second key grip (uncredited)
Sarah L. Hendrick .... additional second assistant camera (uncredited)
Kevin Kilcher .... additional electrician (uncredited)
Aaron Randall .... additional dolly grip (uncredited)
John Shim .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jessica Kelly .... casting assistant
Ali Merhi .... extras casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Martha Fogerty .... costume intern
Leah Katznelson .... assistant costume designer
Chrissy Kuhn .... costumer
Rebecca McCabe .... costume supervisor: Los Angeles
Colleen McTigue .... set costumer
Lauren Miller .... costume intern
Emily Mraz .... costume intern
Diana Pappas .... costume production assistant
Amy Pickering .... wardrobe supervisor
Erin Byrne .... additional costumer (uncredited)
Shirley Ephraim .... jewelry designer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Kate Abernathy .... first assistant editor
Don Ciana .... color timer
Ron Dulin .... assistant editor
Charles Herzfeld .... post-production advisor: Technicolor
Barbara Jean Kearney .... digital film producer
Ali Muney .... assistant editor
Scot Olive .... colorist
Daniel Silverman .... digital imaging supervisor
Stan Sztaba .... negative matcher
Daniel Triller .... assistant editor
Joe Violante .... dailies advisor
Joe Gawler .... digital opticals colorist (uncredited)
Robert Leaton .... colorist: dailies (uncredited)
Patricia Sztaba .... negative matcher (uncredited)
Location Management
Matthew B. Chamberlin .... location manager: Los Angeles (as Matthew Chamberlain)
Danielle Duperreault .... location scout
Jennifer Hoopes .... assistant location manager
Stephen Kardell .... location scout: Los Angeles
Tara Markus .... location scout
Christopher Menges .... location assistant (as Chris Menges)
Damon Rivetti .... location scout: Los Angeles
Collin Smith .... location manager
Dan Cooley .... location scout (uncredited)
Jeph Duarte .... location manager (uncredited)
Audra Gorman .... location scout (uncredited)
Travis Huber .... location scout (uncredited)
Brendan Kehoe .... location assistant (uncredited)
Kristen Mink .... assistant location manager (uncredited)
Tom Yeager .... location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
Bernard C. Bayer .... musician: piano (as Bernard Bayer)
Mariusz Glabinski .... music editor
Andrew Graybill .... musician: violin I
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek .... score producer
Luke Maurer .... musician: viola
Mohammad Naseehu Ali .... music consultant: african and live music
Rafal Paczkowski .... score recording and mixing: P.I.Y. Studio
Mary Ramos .... music supervisor
Marek Szpakiewicz .... music arranger
Marek Szpakiewicz .... musician: cello
Yi-Huan Zhao .... musician: violin II
Transportation Department
Tom Baker .... driver
Jeff Cadmus .... driver: Los Angeles
William Collins .... driver
George Holtzer .... transportation captain
Richie Hubka .... driver
Kirk Huston .... driver: Los Angeles
John Paul Jones .... driver
James Jorty .... driver
John McCoombs .... driver: Los Angeles
Ken Nevin .... driver (as Ray Nevins)
Chris Stevens .... driver: Los Angeles
Jay E. Vigil .... transportation captain: Los Angeles (as Jay Vigil)
Other crew
John A. Accardo .... set production assistant (as John Accardo)
Lucie Bourgeau .... production secretary: Los Angeles
David Boyle .... Head Of Business And Legal Affairs: Groundswell Productions
Nicole Bukowski .... accounting clerk
John Charles .... software manager: Sony DAC
Rachel Connors .... script supervisor
Laura Cook .... set production assistant
Charlie Dibe .... assistant production office coordinator
Leo Driver .... parking coordinator
Joe Facey .... craft service
John B. Finn .... post-production accountant: JFA Inc. (as John Finn)
Angeline Girard .... office production assistant
Dan Gloeckner .... key set production assistant
Erika Goldfarb .... office production assistant
James Granger .... production secretary
Jonathan Gray .... production counsel: Gray Krauss
Jason Hedges .... unit production assistant
Andy Hutchinson .... set production assistant
Peter Hutchison .... post-production accountant
Stephanie Janesh .... office production assistant: Los Angeles (as Stephanie Kinch)
Doe Kim-Corcoran .... studio manager: C5 Inc. (as Doe Kim)
Shana Kingsley .... craft service assistant
Sara Lane .... production accountant
Annie Marter .... acquisitions executive
Alana McGowan .... head of acquisitions
Alana McGowan .... head of distribution
Tracey Merkle .... script supervisor: Los Angeles
Karen S. Neasi .... product placement coordinator (as Karen Neasi)
Elizabeth Pellegrini .... production office coordinator
Dana Penrod .... set production assistant (as Dana Pinrod)
Javier Rojas .... craft service assistant
Jamie Ellen Rush .... set production assistant (as Jamie Rush)
Gus Sacks .... office intern
Michael Sapia .... assistant parking coordinator
Weiman Seid .... publicist: Fat Dot
Lara Sfire .... set production assistant (as Lara Safire)
Luke Tomalin Sherman .... set production assistant (as Luke T. Sherman)
Ivy Shyu .... assistant: Tom McCarthy
Chandra C. Silver .... assistant: Mary Jane Skalski (as Chandra Cummin)
Marny Smith .... office intern
Hilary Stabb .... assistant to counsel: Gray Krauss
J.P. Summerskill .... payroll accountant (as John Paul Summerskill)
Vivian Tong .... set production assistant
Christopher Yager .... set production assistant (as Chris Yager)
Sreenu Yedavalley .... set production assistant
Craig Charland .... office intern (uncredited)
Shirley Ephraim .... jewelry designer (uncredited)
Sky Gewant .... additional production assistant (uncredited)
Darin J. Patterson .... additional production assistant (uncredited)
Sharon Steinhauser .... business and legal affairs (uncredited)
Miguel Arteta .... special thanks
John Harrington Bland .... special thanks
Bobby Cannavale .... special thanks
Kate Churchill .... special thanks
Patricia Clarkson .... special thanks (as Patty Clarkson)
Ralph Costanza .... special thanks
Peter Dinklage .... special thanks
Tate Donovan .... special thanks (as Tate Donavan)
James Elenidis .... in memory of (as Jim Elenidis)
Juliana Farrell .... special thanks
Elizabeth Grave .... special thanks
Marcus Hinchey .... special thanks
Joy Huang .... special thanks
Gil Kruger .... thanks
Josh Pais .... special thanks
Bruna Papandrea .... special thanks
Alexander Payne .... special thanks
Paul Sado .... special thanks
Jonathan Marc Sherman .... special thanks
Christina Sibul .... special thanks
Joey Slotnick .... special thanks
Stephen Trask .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
104 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

During Walter's drum lesson(s), he is told to forget about 4/4 time as the African beat is 3/4. He plays in 3/4 with his friend throughout most of the film and in his final scene in the subway, he is playing in 4/4 time.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: During the night shot of Manhattan from New York Harbor, the wake of the camera boat is visible in the lower left hand corner.See more »
Prof. Walter Vale:We are not helpless children!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Shrink (2009)See more »
Trade WindsSee more »


What is "The Visitor" about?
Is there an official website?
Once deported, can a person ever get back into the United States legally?
See more »
72 out of 87 people found the following review useful.
McCarthy's Small Film Shows Passion Can Be Found in the Most Unexpected Places, 21 April 2008
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

A genuinely unexpected gem. As he proved with his first film as a director and screenwriter, 2003's "The Station Agent", Thomas McCarthy knows how to convey the fine line between solitude and loneliness in his characters' lives with an emotional preciseness that doesn't call attention to itself. It's not surprising that McCarthy is an actor because he's able to capture the very subtle nuances in behavior in actors that make his work feel like Edward Hopper paintings come to life. As a result, you pay attention to a simple gesture, a passing glance, a resigned sigh. This time, his protagonist is Walter Vale, an enervated, middle-aged economics professor at a Connecticut college. Widowed and wholly lacking in professional motivation, he begrudgingly accepts an assignment to go to an academic conference at NYU and present a paper on globalization he really didn't write.

Coming back to a Greenwich Village flat he rarely uses, he is surprised to find a couple living there. Not squatters but unfortunate victims of a rental scam, they turn out to be illegal aliens, a Syrian percussionist named Tarek and his girlfriend Zainab, a Senegalese who makes and sells handcrafted jewelry. As withdrawn from life as Walter is, he slowly finds himself bonding with the couple and lets them stay indefinitely. Zainab is slow to trust Walter, but Tarek and Walter become close over a mutual love of African drums. As his wife was a famous classical pianist, Walter had been futilely attempting to find musical inspiration since her death. However, just as this charming tale of world harmony plays out, it comes back to harsh reality when Tarek is arrested and taken to a detention center in Queens for deportation. What McCarthy does from this point forward is show how sadly restrictive the post-9/11 environment has made immigration laws and how there is no recourse to be found under the constant surveillance of a bureaucratic government protected by the latitude of the Patriot Act.

None of this is hit over our heads with a politically motivated sledgehammer. Far from such polemics, the story singularly focuses on Walter's emergence of purpose in helping Tarek. When Tarek's mother Mouna arrives from Detroit, McCarthy adeptly shows how Walter's closeness to Tarek translates without condition to her. It's a moving transformation of a formerly lonely man finding intimacy in the most unlikely situation. In a once-in-a-lifetime role, character actor Richard Jenkins brings heart and soul to Walter in the most economical manner. Best known as the ghostly father in HBO's "Six Feet Under", he has worked steadily in films for three decades, his most memorable turn being the gay FBI agent high on heroin in David O. Russell's "Flirting with Disaster". With his constant look of resignation on the verge of revelation, Jenkins gives a wondrously poignant, often dryly funny performance that deepens as the story evolves.

Haaz Sleiman and Danai Gurira are terrifically winning as Tarek and Zainab, and they make their bonding with Walter more than credible. As Mouna, Hiam Abbass is no stranger to persevering maternal roles as she brought her particular brand of strength to Hany-Abu Assad's controversial "Palestine Now" and Eran Riklis' family dramedy, "The Syrian Bride". In response to Walter's fumbling overtures, she affectingly conveys her character's resolute stillness and gradual blossoming. There are brief cameos by comic actor Richard Kind as Walter's unctuous neighbor, Deborah Rush as a wealthy and ignorant customer of Zainab's, and Broadway legend Marian Seldes as Walter's failed piano teacher. At first, I thought the film's title was blandly generic in describing those who are here from other lands, but I realize now that the visitor is really Walter as he discovers his soul. The last shot is memorable and captures the fury of his passion with potent force. Strongly recommended.

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