The Station Agent

( 12 )

Overview

Actor and playwright Tom McCarthy makes his feature film debut as a writer/director with the quirky comedy drama The Station Agent. In New Jersey, Finbar McBride Peter Dinklage is a four-foot-tall lonely man who chooses to live the life of a hermit in an abandoned train yard following the death of his friend. While he is there, he unexpectedly meets and befriends a couple of fellow loners. Troubled Olivia Patricia Clarkson is an artist devastated by the loss of her son and separation from her husband, while ...
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Overview

Actor and playwright Tom McCarthy makes his feature film debut as a writer/director with the quirky comedy drama The Station Agent. In New Jersey, Finbar McBride Peter Dinklage is a four-foot-tall lonely man who chooses to live the life of a hermit in an abandoned train yard following the death of his friend. While he is there, he unexpectedly meets and befriends a couple of fellow loners. Troubled Olivia Patricia Clarkson is an artist devastated by the loss of her son and separation from her husband, while carefree and friendly Joe Bobby Cannavale runs a hot dog stand. The three unlikely friends each deal with their urge to connect compared with their individual need for isolation. Also starring Raven Goodwin, Paul Benjamin, and Michelle Williams. The Station Agent won the Audience award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Actor Tom McCarthy perhaps best remembered for the David Kelley TV series Boston Public makes an impressive directorial debut with this warm, perceptive drama. The Station Agent deals primarily with the difficulties that emotionally damaged people face in connecting with others; and while the story could easily have turned mawkish, McCarthy who also wrote the script admirably resists any such temptation. Attempting to recover from the death of his only real friend in a recently inherited, though long-abandoned, train station in rural New Jersey, the reclusive dwarf Finbar McBride Peter Dinklage finds himself unable to avoid garrulous huckster Joe Oramas Bobby Cannavale, who is temporarily manning his sick father's food concession. One of the regular customers, Olivia Harris Patricia Clarkson, who was abandoned by her husband after their child's death, gradually becomes involved in their lives, as does Emily Michelle Williams, a beautiful young woman who develops what seems to be a romantic interest in the station agent. The diminutive Dinklage has an oversize dramatic personality and has no difficulty holding the screen as the film’s nominal leading man. Clarkson has the most demanding role, which she pulls off with her customary subtlety. McCarthy’s movie doesn’t offer easy answers or pat resolutions; nobody’s problems are completely solved before the end credits roll. But the characters are carefully drawn and skillfully interpreted by an effective cast, and the story draws to a close much more optimistically than it begins.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Thomas McCarthy's Sundance-winning The Station Agent is a quiet, disarmingly simple movie about a man overcoming grief. Peter Dinklage gives one of the best performances of the year as Finbar McBride, a dwarf who inherits an abandoned train station after the death of his best, and possibly only, friend. McCarthy's storytelling is both leisurely and economical. His camera quietly observes Fin's taciturn ways and hints at why he has closed himself off emotionally from the world. Into his personal realm comes Olivia (Patricia Clarkson) a woman also dealing with grief of her own, and Joe (Bobby Cannavale) a man so charmingly good-natured and emotionally open that he manages to break through all of Fin's defenses. McCarthy's empathy for these characters shines through with the help of the three leads. Each of them delivers an emotionally penetrating performance without a hint of bravura. But it is the remarkable Dinklage who dominates the film. At one point, in a marijuana-fueled bit of personal revelation, Fin confesses that he is a really boring guy. His laugh after that admission signals his own trepidation at revealing so much of himself as well as his relief at being able to reveal himself to these new friends. The moment is simple and profound -- an apt description of the movie's poetic final scene as well as the film as a whole. The Station Agent is a perfect example of everything good about American independent film.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
The movie's writer and director, Tom McCarthy, has such an appreciation for quiet that it occupies the same space as a character in this film, a delicate, thoughtful and often hilarious take on loneliness.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
Its charming story of the delicate intersection of three highly individual lives is the kind of completely personal yet universal film that the festival and the entire independent movement came into being to celebrate. And it does it all in 88 deft and funny minutes.

The movie's writer and director, Tom McCarthy, has such an appreciation for quiet that it occupies the same space as a character in this film, a delicate, thoughtful and often hilarious take on loneliness.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/15/2004
  • UPC: 786936239935
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Miramax
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Dinklage Finbar McBride
Patricia Clarkson Olivia Harris
Bobby Cannavale Joe Oramas
Raven Goodwin Cleo
Paul Benjamin Henry Styles
Michelle Williams Emily
Jayce Bartok Chris
Jeremy Bergman Jacob
Jase Blankfort store customer
Sarah Bolger Girl In Bar
Lynn Cohen Patty At The Good To Go
Maile Flanagan Pappy's Waitress
Ileen Getz Mrs. Kahn
Richard Kind Louis Tiboni
Annie Del Moro "What About Blimps" Girl
Josh Pais Carl
Carlos Rosas "Blimps Are Cool" Boy
John Slattery David
Marla Sucharetza Janice
Joe Lo Truglio Danny
Technical Credits
Tom McCarthy Director, Screenwriter
Oliver Bokelberg Cinematographer
Len X. Clayton Art Director
Richard Cohan Associate Producer
Jeanne Dupont Costumes/Costume Designer
Jeanne Dyupont Costumes/Costume Designer
Dana Elder Makeup
Hopkins-Smith-Barden Casting
Paul Hsu Sound/Sound Designer
Michele Kuznetsky Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert May Producer
Tom McArdle Editor
Erin Ohanneson Set Decoration/Design
John Paino Production Designer
Mary Ramos Musical Direction/Supervision
Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald Marshall Consultant/advisor
Mary Jane Skalski Producer
Steve F.B. Smith Consultant/advisor
Stephen Trask Score Composer
Kathryn Tucker Producer
Josh Zeman Co-producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This movie shines!

    Expert direction, a superb ensemble cast, nice location. Wish there was a soundtrack for the great, quirky music. In this age of big-budget, over-the-top blockbusters, this quiet little movie makes one appreciate the art of filmmaking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Adult Movie

    A quiet character study about forming and maintaining relationships, no matter how reluctantly. Excellent and subtle performances, especially from the wonderful Peter Dinklage. The characters are grown-ups, and have grown-up reactions to their situations. The open-ended conclusion is also true to life: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose -- who knows how it will turn out? I loved the score, with its musical saw - the unusual music points up the theme of the film: everyone has something special about them, but it's not always what they think it is. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    an almost perfect movie

    The Station Agent is a quietly funny, charming film. A plot synopsis would make the movie sound like a melodrama (an angry dwarf moves into an abandoned railway depot, an encounters a divorcee grieving over the death of her only child...). The performers are outstanding; the writing is often witty and always truthful. Viewers looking for neatly wrapped, Hollywood beginning, middle and ending will be confused and disappointed. Those of us who want to watch people we can believe and care about will treasure this film.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    It would be hard to find a gentler, funnier, better-paced movie

    It would be hard to find a gentler, funnier, better-paced movie about the trials of solitude than the absolute gem that is The Station Agent. This has some of the best character role-reversals I've seen in a script. Tired of being stared and laughed at the whole movie, our dwarf lead gets drunk in a crowded bar, stands on his stool and yells, simply, "Here I am! Right here! Take a GOOD LOOK!" It is a supreme moment. And indie filmmakers - the director and actor commentary has a treasure trove of stories about the creative corners that were cut making the film. Stop by this station - you'll want to stay.

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    An excellent movie

    I enjoyed this movie immensely. Peter Dinklage is outstanding as the title character, a train aficionado who inherits a rundown train station building from his only friend, and makes new friends of his neighbors...in spite of himself.
    My only complaint about this movie...it ended too soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Station Agent

    This is an interesting movie about three very different people who try to find a place in the world and come together in an old train station depot.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Station Agent

    This is an alright movie, fun characters, and the setting of the film looked good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Only for Live Performance Viewers!

    Good, but you must appreciate amd enjoy plays to see how good this movie is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Refreshing!

    This movie is a breath of fresh air! I absolutely was enthralled by the characters and especially loved not seeing the same tired hollywood faces. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a thoughtful, funny story with realistic scenery and camera work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Film of 2003

    This is easily the best film of 2003. I went to see it after a friend told me it was wonderful and I came out of the theater with no regrets. This is a heartwarming, touching, hilarious and intelligent look into the way people deal with each other in modern day life and how loneliness results in unlikely friendships. The cast is excellent. Peter Dinklage is great, Patricia Clarkson is always wonderful and bobby canavale is funny. The three of them make a great team and this is a film for anyone of all ages who feels like a good laugh and being uplifted. This is also a movie you will be a fan of if you liked lost in translation. It is even better than that! I loved Sofia Coppola's film and script but I thought this was the best script of 2003. I absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This movie is not funny at all.

    This movie is borring. I would not recommend this movie at all. The acting was terrible. It is a movie about nothing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews