The Station Agent

(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

      Ok, I know. I like movies too much. I'm not tough enough in my reviews. I almost never give a one bottle rating.  But forget all that. The Station Agent is a great film. It's the best movie I've seen all year. You gotta go see it.  This movie tells the story of Fin (Peter Dinklage), a dwarf and train fanatic who inherits an old train station in a little town in New Jersey.  Fin moves in, planning to continue his solitary life.  He likes to read.  He likes to walk along the railroad tracks.  But soon it seems like the whole town is knocking on his door including a lonely hot dog vendor (Bobby Cannavale), a lonely artist (Patricia Clarkson), a lonely librarian (Michelle Williams) and a lonely little girl (Raven Goodwin).  Ok, you get the idea. 

     Everyone in The Station Agent is Eleanor Rigby wearing a face that they keep in a jar by the door. This film is about people who find themselves alone in the world and aren't quite sure what to do about it. This is definitely an Indie film by a first time director (Thomas McCarthy) but it doesn't have the roughness and home-movie feel that those films often have. The Station Agent has an offbeat story and some offbeat casting,  but this doesn't feel like an Indie film. The script and direction are crisp, and the cast is great. Peter Dinklage, who is also appearing in Elf at the moment, is fantastic.  This movie is a mood piece and Dinklage as Fin doesn't say much. But he can carry a scene with just the expression on his face. Patricia Clarkson is having a breakout year (Far From Heaven, All the Real Girls, Pieces of April, Dogville) and she is just to die for in The Station Agent.  Clarkson is so good together with Dinklage that you forget that he is 4'6" and she is 5'8". The rest of cast is also excellent. Bobby Cannavale is very good as Dinklage's other would-be friend.  Michelle Williams you may recognize from Dawson Creek, and Raven Goodwin makes her second cute screen appearance after her role in Lovely & Amazing.

    The Station Agent deals with some heavy issues but it is never a downer. It is very amusing and entertaining.   Maybe I identify strongly with the characters because I live a solitary life myself but the characters seem very real to me.  So cut me a break. I'm giving this five bottles! This is the feel-good-Peter-Dinklage movie of the Christmas season, not Elf!