Station Agent, The (USA; 88 min.)


directed by: Thomas McCarthy
starring: Peter Dinklage; Patricia Clarkson; Bobby Cannavale
The Station Agent
 
Bob G. says: "As Finbar McBride, Peter Dinkledge emotes a quiet storm usually reserved for icons of the '30s and '40s such as Bogart or Cagney. His performance is so understated, it draws attentionm to itself precisely through it's unobtrusiveness. You want to know more about his character precisely because he's so mysterious, and because it's obvious that there is so much brewing under the surface. The scene where he talks briefly about his past with Patricia Clarkson (equally fine, though in a
more overt way), is fascinating and far too brief (though maybe that's part
of the appeal). With Bobby Canavale as the human Saint Bernard, Joe. 4 1/2 cats"
 

Diane says: "Just read Michael's comments on THE STATION AGENT and I agree completely, except I'm adding another cat for five cats. Saw this with a bunch of Chlotrudis folks Saturday night--we had a laff riot. My reaction was similar to when I saw ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS: as the credits begin, I said, 'Okay, I'd like to see it again now!'

"Completely delightful film with a super cast. (Do I say 'super?') I concur that the developments in the second half are too melodramatic, but not detrimental overall. I will say nothing more but 'See it!'" 5 cats

 
Esmé says: "Surprising, moving, hilarious. Great casting! (A dwarf inherits a train depot and makes a couple of friends)"
 
Georgette says: "Well, you can add my 5 cats to this one. As has been said before, great performances, wonderfully gentle story, and funny as well. Yes I wanted to sit through it again, but more than that, I want to walk the 'right of way' with Fin, Joe, Olivia, Cleo, and Emily." 5 cats
 
Ivy says: "I completely agree with what Michael said about this film. What an impressive feature film debut! It really is the kind of movie that you wish people made more of. A great acting opportunity for all three of the main characters, a tight script to work with, and strong cinematography (though not flashy) that set the mood.

"This is one of the best films I have seen this year. Everyone should catch it before nominations because it has real potential!!!"

 
Michael says: "Midway through Thomas McCarthy's debut feature film, THE STATION AGENT, I said to myself, 'Why can't all films be like this?' Before veering off into a slight round of melodrama (that takes very little away from the film) McCarthy paints a gentle story of three lonely people, slowly and haltingly becoming friends.

"When a good friend dies, Finbar inherits an abandoned train depot in rural New Jersey. Born with dwarfism and accustomed to a solitary existence, he is unsure how to handle the intrusion of a loquacious, food-truck vendor, and a grief-stricken artist into his life. Their gentle descent into friendship meets with the expected bumps and difficulties, but is really a charming journey to take.

"Peter Dinklage plays Finbar with a calm, stillness that instills in his character an absorbing fascination, all while he claims to be simply a boring person. The gradual way he opens up to his two off-beat suitors is realistic and heart-warming.

"Patricia Clarkson is superb, as usual, as Olivia, the frazzled artist still recovering from the accidental death of her young son, and subseqent separation from her husband. Her desire to befriend Finbar after running him off the road not once, but twice, is all the more touching for its awkwardness.

"Bobby Cannavale is the comic relief as Joe, his non-stop patter astounding both to Finbar, and the viewers. The gregarious New York is unfazed by nearly everything that comes his way as he burrows his way into Finbar's life like an overeager puppy.

"Add to the mix a lonely, straight-shooting young girl, played wonderfully by Raven Goodwin (LOVELY AND AMAZING) and a sweet librarian involved with the wrong guy played with simplicity by Michelle Williams (ME WITHOUT YOU, DICK), and you've got an outstanding cast that doesn't overplay a thing... even when the script gets a little maudlin.

The direction is nice though. McCarthy wisely doesn't get in the way of his actors and lets them simply be. I could have watched this film for hours, with its quirky humor, and honest emotion." 4 cats