Review 62: The Station Agent (2003)
I was out with my wife and daughter today. They were shopping for clothes and such, and I decided to catch a movie on Netflix while they did their thing. I picked the Station Agent, which has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, as Leonard Maltin and Baron Vaughn recently recommended this film.
Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage) moves into rural New Jersey after inheriting a piece of land when his only friend passed away. Finn was intent on living his life in solitude, but the persistent hot dog vendor, Joe (Bobby Cannavale), and Olivia (Patricia Clarkson) make that decision a challenge.
I’ve been a fan of Peter Dinklage for a while. He is by far my favorite part of Game of Thrones and I loved him in this film. His performance in this film is subtle, but powerful. Opting in many scenes to not speak, but rather actions and facial expressions. Bobby Cannavale is great in juxtaposition to Dinklage and, really, the rest of the town. He never looks at Fin as a dwarf, but a person who is different from the rest of the people in town. Both are outsiders and there is a kinship that Joe seeks from Fin even though Fin attempts to push him away.
There is a scene where Joe makes Olivia and Fin food and serves them on the patio furniture on the “lounge.” Joe says, “Are there clubs for you people,” and of course my first reaction was surprise that Joe was suddenly acting like everyone else towards Fin. Then Joe reveals “you people” to be train people, and in that moment it’s confirmed that Joe really just sees Fin as another guy.
Olivia is introduced by almost running over Fin. She seems like a manic artist from the get go and it doesn’t’ seem to change. She is struggling with life and the connection that this odd trio forms is the story of the movie. It’s very compelling and very human.
Michelle Williams appears as Emily the librarian. Her character is interesting, but the story really doesn’t go anywhere with her. She is more or less a distraction for Fin when the other two characters aren’t available. Her performance is solid as always though.
I did watch this on my iPhone 6+, but the film was still beautiful. Tom McCarthy did a great job with his first film. I think The Station Agent is a Solid Movie and it’s on Netflix so check it out!