An Eastern European traveler finds himself trapped indefinitely in
JFK Airport after his country suffers a coup and his visa is revoked.
The Terminal (2004)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Sacha Gervasi and Jeff Nathanson
Starring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci,
Chi McBride, Diego Luna, Barry Shabaka Henley,
Kumar Pallana, Zoe Saldana
I'm a fan of oddball comedies, particularly when they star Tom Hanks, so it was no surprise to me when I highly enjoyed The Terminal. This is a film about patience, friendship, and humanity that really shows the worst aspects of the United States air travel system. Coupled with expert direction from Steven Spielberg and a bouncy, infectious score from John Williams, this film is touching, amusing, and contains of Tom Hanks's most entertaining and humanizing performances.
Hanks plays Viktor Navorski, a traveler from the fictional country of Krakozhia, which suffers an uprising during his flight. When he arrives, his passport is no longer recognized and his visa is revoked. He can't go home but he can't go to New York either. Hanks plays Viktor perfectly, delivering a flawless Eastern European accent and making Viktor a kind, gentle, and ultimately patient man who befriends the entire airport during his year long stay in Gate 67. I must also add that Stanley Tucci plays a scumbag really well and his role as Dixon, the airport boss who makes it his mission to make Viktor miserable, is no exception.
The best thing about this film is seeing Viktor's one-man journey to beat the system and get to New York City. He learns to speak English, he meets the girl of his dreams (and then loses her), and becomes a part of everyone's lives as he lives his life in JFK Airport. The Terminal is an uplifting, heartfelt comedy that pretty much anybody can enjoy because of its great cast and charming script.