Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Station Agent: Movie Review

(2003, written and directed by: Thomas McCarthy, starring: Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale and Patricia Clarkson)
(Available now on DVD)

Characters who walk the right-of-way.

Set in Newfoundland, New Jersey, "The Station Agent" is an uplifting film about finding a home where one belongs. The characters are all alone, either out of choice, necessity, or as consequences. Fin (Peter Dinklage) is a short-statured adult living alone mostly because of the way people respond to him; Olivia (Patricia Clarkson) is trying to escape her life; Joe (Bobby Cannavale) is running a lonely hot-dog stand for his ailing father.

Short-statured adults are frequently in films as characters to laugh at. The good thing about Peter Dinklage is that he actually acts in his roles. The great thing about "The Station Agent" is that they gave him a leading role and which validates his thoughts, feelings and opinions. Some people want to laugh at, insult and hurt him, others are confused by him, or don't know how to properly respond to him, while others just want to be his friend or end up being his friend when they want to be alone just like him.

For the amount of loneliness displayed in this film, there is no despondency. We are given a fair amount of humour and a surprisingly positive ability to rely on the kindness of strangers, even when the strangers aren't intending to be kind. "The Station Agent" is a well written, intelligent and original film that "walks the right-of-way".

Also recommended: Adam