At times, we all want to live in a favorite film. But, from the man who lives in an airport Terminal to the fan who removed bits of his nose, the reality is sometimes painful. Stranded at John F. Kennedy International Airport with a passport from nowhere, Viktor (Tom Hanks) is unauthorized to actually enter the United States and must improvise his days and nights in the terminal’s international transit lounge until the war at home is over. As the weeks and months stretch on, he finds the compressed universe of the terminal to be a richly complex world of absurdity, generosity, ambition, amusement, status, serendipity, and even romance with a beautiful flight attendant named Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). But Viktor has long worn out his welcome with airport official Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), who considers him a bureaucratic glitch, a problem he cannot control but wants desperately to erase. The Terminal is an utterly charming story about Navorski’s innocent and rather mysterious fish-out-of-water character. The film has plenty of laughs and several tear-jerking moments. Spielberg seems to have a handle on when and how to tug at the audience’s heartstrings. The Terminal is a comedy, a drama, and a romance all in one without ever really becoming one for too long. The film has a classic feel to it and Spielberg indeed pulls it off. Sadly, with just a little snipping here and there on the language, The Terminal could have been a perfect live action summer family film. While the story may eek some for not being purely believable, the sweet, candycoated nature of the tale is infectious and well worth a viewing if properly received. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Terminal. Hanks was fabulous, turning in one of his best performances in years. Spielberg has a future in quality family films with a classic feel should he choose to explore the genre more.
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