It then follows the characters as they connect with one another in unexpected ways.
Like his previous work, it is thoughtful, beautifully observed and features rounded characters who feel like people you might actually meet in real life.
But what really makes this film stand out is the way it manages to tackle some really big themes with such intelligence and grace.
Immigration, loss and love are just a few of the issues dealt with here, but it never feels like a stodgy parable.
Instead, it manages to take us deep into the hearts and minds of people caught up in the chilly climate of a post-9/11 world.
It is one of those rare films that manages to engage your heart and brain, but does so with the subtle skill of a richly gifted director.
Check out the trailer here:
The Visitor is currently on limited release in the US and opens in the UK on July 4th