Veteran movie makers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, whose list of endeavours in Hollywood makes a listing of movies pretty much unnecessary, join forces once more in this quirky and endearing tale centred around the “little boy lost” syndrome. Hanks plays Viktor Navorski - the “little boy lost”, (perhaps that should be portly middle-aged man stuck!) - with his customary Big style charm and eminent professionalism... Arriving from Krakozia, Navorski finds himself at the mercy of Airport supremo Frank Dixon, Stanley Tucci, who informs our luckless traveller that during his flight Krakozia has gone into civil unrest and is no longer recognized as a country by the U.S. This poses problems - without a country one's passport is no longer valid, and without a valid passport one cannot enter America. So Navorsky finds himself stranded at JFK Airport, unable to return home and, according to the letter of the law, not allowed to leave the Terminal either. So what does our mini-hero do? A leopard cannot change its spots - and neither can Navorsky - he simply charms everyone in sight, viewers and all, with his self-effacing charm and charisma as his imposed airport exile sees him living out of his suitcase with a vengeance!
The Terminal is classic Spielberg, and almost E.T. in style - with a more grown up story, but with an alien whose home is equally difficult to phone. Hanks just about manages to keep his comedic touches firmly grounded - it would have been easy to allow the star a free hand here, but his performance is both charming and professional in equal measure. The very slim and most screen-a-genic Catherine Zeta-Jones/Douglas provides some distracting love interest for our hapless squatter, and beautifully distracting she is, too!
As can probably be determined from my assessment of the movie so far, I enjoyed The Terminal. It has a Christmas feel, and is both well acted and well directed. The storyline is a little on the odd side, but solid performances by all concerned means that the story ends up playing second fiddle to Tom Hanks' character acting, as well as Mr. Spielberg's intricate direction, which are both worthy of attention.
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