The Station Agent

01 Mar

Fin McBride (played by Peter Dinklage) is a train buff who works in a city-based train hobby store with his friend and boss Henry Styles (by Paul Benjamin). Fin keeps to himself, but as he has dwarfism he is hounded by unwanted attention from the curious and the heartless. Henry suddently dies in the store and he bequeaths to Fin some land and an old abandoned train depot in Newfoundland, New Jersey. As Fin will be left to find another job anyway, he decides to move to Newfoundland and investigate what Henry saw there. Upon his arrival in the little town, Fin begins to explore his new surroundings. Of course, everyone pays attention to him and although he finds this irritating, he tolerates it. One guy, Joe Oramas (by Bobby Cannavale) is particularly persistent – he operates a nearby coffee stop and eagerly wants to be friends with Fin much to Fin’s bewilderment. Another resident, Olivia Harris (by Patricia Clarkson), is distracted by her own deep emotional stress and accidentally encounters Fin several times. Emily (by Michelle Williams) is the sweet young local librarian and Cleo (by Raven Goodwin) is a schoolgirl neighbour who is a fellow train lover and accepts Fin without question. This collection of people all feature far more often in Fin’s life than he would prefer, but somehow they each permeate his thick skin and some meaningful friendships develop in the small weird community.

I like this movie. Although he is not very sociable, Fin seems like a nice guy and Peter Drinklage beautifully portrays the hard edges of Fin accompanied later by his more sensitive side. You can really empathise with his preference for solitude in his life. Joe is totally unaware of the irritation he causes in his earnest attempts at friendship, but he’s a sincere fellow with good intentions and Bobby Cannavale is perfect as Joe. Olivia Harris is played well by Patricia Clarkson – she is first presented to us as a flighty, clumsy woman – but we learn that there is a lot more to her situation. Michelle Williams is lovely as Emily and Raven Goodwin is also great as the innocent Cleo. My favourite part of this series of encounters and the building relationship between these people is that they are all so honest and just being themselves – “warts and all”. This is nice and it means the relationships develop almost by accident as each person (apart from Joe) is not really focussed on being friends with anyone. The characters all strike a chord in their own way and become endearing.  It’s a nice movie – it is well made and tells the unfolding and curious story very well. 

Made 2003: Directed by Thomas McCarthy

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Movies


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