Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
When his only friend and co-worker dies, a young man born with dwarfism moves to an abandoned train depot in rural New Jersey. Though he tried to maintain a life of solitude, he is soon entangled with an artist who is struggling with a personal tragedy and an overly friendly Cuban hot-dog vendor. Written by
The Station Agent is one of those films where there doesn't seem to be much in the way, at least in conventional terms, of a story being told without dubious circumstance. Whoever Finbar- Fin (Peter Dinklage, in a mostly low-key, appropriately observant performance) meets in the small town of Newfoundland, NJ will either be at some degree of a friend to him, or someone who passes him by and scoffs at his apparent height of four foot five inches. The way writer/director Thomas McCarthey has characters interact with each other is also rewarding, since they come off as solid and believable to their situations (the life-affirming Joe, the sweet and lonely Olivia, the little fascinated girl Cleo, and the young, sexy Emily). And at the same time he doesn't lose sight of the center of the film, which is the obsession with trains. It's a wonderful motif to have with these characters- most especially for Fin- who don't seem to go anywhere much, and are content to watch them go by as they stay put in the town. By the end I felt like I saw a heart-warming comedy, despite the sad moments, as it went for a more human side to actions and dialog, instead of a 'slapstick-because-there's-a-dwarf' ideal to comedies. Fin is a person, and we're given him as a uniquely empathetic persona in Dinklage's performance. A-
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