FB Recommendation: The Station Agent (2003)

It’s funny how people see me and treat me, since I’m really just a simple, boring person.

— Finbar McBride

It has been a long time since I have given an FB Recommendation to a film. This time around I offer actor Tom McCarthy’s debut movie, The Station Agent. When this movie was released in 2003, there was considerable buzz surrounding the film. It was nominated for numerous awards including the Independent Spirit Awards and Screen Actor Guild Awards. Too bad that the Oscars didn’t recognize this gem of a movie.

An introverted dwarf, Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage) inherits a train depot in Newfoundland, New Jersey when a business partner suddenly dies from a heart attack. Finbar is perfectly content with this lonely existence when he meets Joe (Bobby Cannavale) who sells Cuban food out of his father’s truck. Joe is an annoyance for Finbar who doesn’t want anything to do with him.

Walking down a windy road one day, Finbar is almost run over by Olivia (Patricia Clarkson). Olivia tries to apologize to Finbar, but like with Joe, he doesn’t want to have any contact with her. These three souls come together in an organic way and learn what make each other tick.

The longer Finbar stays in Newfoundland, the more his world expands with him befriending the pregnant librarian Emily (Michelle Williams) or a chubby black girl, Cleo (Raven Goodwin).

This movie is much understated. It’s not trying to jam social issues down your throat. It’s not trying to overtly indie with it’s look or story. A quiet movie has nuanced performances from all of the actors involved.

Rating: ****1/2

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on December 5, 2009, in 2003, Comedy, Drama, FB Recommendation, Independent and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. mcarteratthemovies

    I call this the best movie where nothing ever happens. Because nothing does happen, really. There’s a lot of talking … and that’s IT. But I cannot express how wonderful and subtle and touching a film “The Station Agent” is, mostly because of Peter Dinklage, who is one of the most talented and undervalued actors working today. Patricia Clarkson is superb, too, but it’s Dinklage that is the film’s heart. This is proof positive why he should be a much bigger star than he is. He has the chops to be a leading man.

    • Is this the only movie that nothing ever happens? The role of Finbar McBride is the role of a lifetime for Dinklage. He is not the butt of the joke, because he is a dwarf. In this movie, they do address it, but made him a three-dimensional character. Quite refreshing.

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