|The Terminal (2004)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta Jones, Stanley Tucci, Chi McBride, Diego Luna, Kumar Pallana
Director: Steven Spielberg
One could say that Steven Spielberg is a historian, documenting human emotion on film for the past 20 years. With each new film, Spielberg addresses a different issue but never fails to incorporate the basic emotions that pulse through everyone’s body. His movies are remarkably touching, realistic and passionate about human nature. In his latest film, “The Terminal,” Spielberg reveals a little bit of his own mind as he introduces the audience to Viktor Navorski.
Tom Hanks stars as Navorski, a visitor from Eastern Europe whose small country is overtaken by a military coup while he is on a plane to America. After arriving in New York City, Viktor is left to roam the airport terminal with an invalid passport until his country’s government regains power and is able to reestablish his nation of origin. Quickly learning the tricks of survival, including some much-needed English, Viktor soon becomes the terminal’s resident celebrity and embarks on a fervent mission to befriend the people who operate the airport by serving as a matchmaker for a lovesick airport employee and kindling a childlike romance with a beautiful flight attendant (Catherine Zeta Jones) while simultaneously becoming an incurable headache for airport official Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci).
Spielberg’s film provides an incessant supply of beautiful, sweeping crane shots that force the audience to get lost in the quiet terminal with this simple man. Hanks is brilliant as the Russian immigrant, bringing both subtlety and vigor to the character with his dead-on accent and genuine attention to Navorski’s quiet lifestyle. Jones and Tucci add a desirable flavor of personality to the cast, but it’s Hanks and his team of airport misfits (Chi McBride, Diego Luna and Kumar Pallana) who control the story’s momentum. One of Spielberg’s finest films to date and a definite Oscar contender, “The Terminal” is the perfect picnic away from a summer of big explosions and gaudy sequels.