In the beginning I heard The Terminal was not a great movie. Well, I also think, it is not great, it was a bit boring and slow and over-lengthy, but I liked it. When they showed the terminal in the beginning I recognized JFK airport right away. I even thought it had been the terminal where I left the USA in 2001. Though then again, maybe the new JFK terminals all look the same, I’m not sure.
I liked the performance of Tom Hanks very much. I think it’s definitely Oscar-material. If Hanks gets nominated for another Oscar next year I won’t be surprised. Also Catherine Zeta-Jones and Hanks went very well together. Very good cast.
First I thought the writer of the story had been desperate to be too unique, because the story of The Terminal is very weird and uncommon. People are always asking for something new, something they’ve never seen. And I thought in The Terminal this goal was overly achieved. Though I began to wonder whether a story like that could really happen in the USA, whether it’s possible to stay at an airport for those reasons Hanks had to stay there, and whether he’d be allowed to accept a job there without having a visa and all that. I thought it was merely legally impossible in the USA, but nevertheless I did research on the story and found out the idea is based on a true story that once happened in Paris. USA Today has reported on it:
The premise behind DreamWorks’ The Terminal is grounded in the convoluted, true-life tale of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee in his late 50s who has been living in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for nearly 16 years. According to published reports, Nasseri showed up at the Paris airport in 1988 with a ticket to London but no identity papers; he said they had been stolen in a Paris subway. He flew to England, but authorities sent him back to de Gaulle, where he remained in legal limbo — living off food vouchers donated by sympathetic airport employees, snoozing on a bench near the Paris Bye Bye departure lounge and becoming the star of French documentary films until he received a French residency permit in 1999.
Still I believe that a story like this couldn’t happen in the USA.