The Station Agent - movie review (February 21, 2004)

Finbar "Fin" McBride is a quiet, simple man.  A train enthusiast, he is also a fairly solitary man.  The reason he seems to attract attention, though, is that he's also a dwarf.  Through circumstances, he finds himself the owner of the train depot in Newfoundland, New Jersey and settles in to his new home.  Almost against his wishes and definitely against his attempts to the contrary, he begins to develop reluctant relationships with some of the locals:  Joe, the garrulous operator of the food truck that's parked outside of the depot, who's doing so in place of his sick father; Olivia, who has come to live in the town to get away from an event in her past that she has yet to come to terms with; Emily, the young woman who works in the local library; and Cleo, a little girl who befriends him.  The trio of Fin, Joe and Olivia form an unlikely friendship, and it is the development and maturation of that friendship that occupies much of the film.


This film moves along at a fairly easy pace, much the way that Fin tries to live his life.  There is not too much spectacular going on (though there are a number of fairly amusing scenes), and for me, that was part of the appeal of the film.  My only complaint is that the film seemed to end a bit abruptly, but other than that, I really enjoyed it.


Peter Dinklage does a terrific job as Fin, and for the most part, you forget that he's a dwarf - except when others in the town make note of it.  Bobby Cannavale does a good job as Joe, and Patricia Clarkson is a pleasure to watch as Olivia.


Definitely a recommend.



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