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This was the winner of the Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance 2003, and it was easy to see why. The cast was fantastic...this was one of four movies (I saw 3 of them) that Patricia Clarkson was in(during Sundance 2003), and this was yet another fine performance from her. This is the kind of story that just draws you in, but at the same time, it felt real. Peter Dinklage and Bobby Canavale were fabulous. Canavale plays a loquacious hot dog stand owner who is lonely and trying to befriend Dinklage's character (the title character), who is happy in his own skin and would rather be left alone. This is worth seeing, but of course not for everyone as the story takes its time in being told and there are no explosions!
This was the best movie I have ever seen. The casting is great. The characters have a dynamite personality. The story is exceptional. And its a drama, but its very comedic as well. All in all its a 10 out of 10 the best movie at Sundance 2003. I Recommend it to everyone.
This is an extremely slow paced film. If you enjoy spying on your
neighbours with a telescope, this movie might appeal. Nothing much
happens. The whole movie is like the expository first five minutes to
set the stage for the action to come in conventional movies. The
characters change very gradually, almost imperceptibly. It is
entertaining at first watching Fin the dwarf, but the whole point is
there is nothing special about him. He is just a shy lonely person who
has trouble fitting in.
The movie is wistful and charming, even if boring, much like old friends. You find great kindness in the unexpected place of a hot dog vendor.
If you enjoy Philip Glass music, this is the cinematic equivalent.
A lot of what I enjoy in film is embodied within "The Station Agent."
It's a well crafted tale of three people who, having isolated
themselves from wounds of their pasts, collide into each other's lives.
We are fortunate to get to witness the beauty that unfolds as a result.
The story has a thirtysomething dwarfed man by the name of Fin (Peter Dinklage) at its center. Fin has been bequeathed an old railroad station house in the beautiful landscape of Newfoundland, which he wastes no time pulling up his roots and relocating to. His longtime preoccupation with his size as well as his skepticism concerning people's true interest in him as a man has made Fin inwardly as tiny as his height, well concealed by his outward bitterness.
Providing much of the humor is a Cuban snack vendor named Joe (Bobby Cannavale), whose truck does business right at the country road intersection besides Fin's station house. Joe becomes obsessed with connecting with Fin, especially after he assumes Fin has managed to woo a very attractive female customer, Olivia (Patricia Clarkson)to bed. Olivia, is a painter with her own pain, which is better left undivulged here, as the greatness of the story comes from the discoveries you'll make.
The film has many buoyant moments where laughter lingers into a chuckle when you recognize the quirky parts of yourself on the screen. When I am able to see a little bit of myself in the people on screen, I know my time has been spent in good company. I love the movies for that.
Big hearted warmth from little people - not matter how big they are - a excellent film - charming, warm, engaging and sensitive. A big congratulation to all involved, especially to the director/writer Tom McCarthy, a marvelously well judged piece, though most of all to the lead - Peter Dinklage. A superb performance which hit all the right notes - poignancy, without preaching - he deserves all the credit he receives from the film. Don't hesitate seeing this film - if you need an extra dose of faith in human nature - in a quiet way, this delivers in spades. A good 8.5 out of 10, a deserved addition to the IMDb top 250.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Peter Dinklage plays a freak...someone obsessed with trains. Oh yeah, he's also a dwarf, and perhaps more importantly does some of the best Bob Newhart-style deliveries in quite some time.
Bobby Cannavale is a gigantic puppy dog, and he's also the one thing that's not like the others. He plays an extrovert here that could make Vince Vaughan look like a shrinking violet. Armed with little more than a cell-phone and a lack of self-consciousness, he would have lifted a lesser film from others. Cannavale was more than just a "really good walker" here, I may have to rent "The Guru" to see what Thomas McCarthy saw in him there.
Patricia Clarkson, no stranger to you I know...but soon she'll be getting Holly Hunter style praise. Like Hunter, she can control a frenetic and frazzled performance. Although one of her strongest scenes in this was less emotionally overt, and ironically motionless. Her gazing at the children playing soccer with Cannavale. Great shot by the director...like a painting and he gave us enough time to take it in.
The film has generally been lauded, and worth seeing if you have not yet. It's quirkiness seems pretty unique to me, it's charm not forced. If you are worried that it will play too much on a "dwarfs are people too" motif, rest assured it wisely takes the preferrable position that "we are all freaks."
Some spoilers follow...
I mentioned Cannavale's character's lack of self-consciousness, whereas the other characters bear more painful burdens. Although the pregnant librarian, strangely less so? Maybe she's too young for shame, and just can sense parental wrath, so we feel self-conscious for her? Heck hyper self-awareness I suspect is something most people can relate to, at least some of the time. I think the deft handling of that in this film is the secret to its success.
Dinklage is excellent, but the second bar scene...I guess it was intended to drive home his inner wrackings. However that scene for me failed either due to the script, or maybe Dinklage's portrayal up to that point. There's a great early montage of groaning moments that align us with Dinklage's view point. He just seems to have risen above it. His scenes with Raven Goodwin do the same, with warmth and humility. So even though his dislike of bars foreshadowed this, his strength of character (and the idiocy of others) belied his outburst for me.
Plus I typically hate actors playing drunk. Might as well get 'em really liquored up and if they smash a mirror or cut themselves (Martin Sheen, "Apocalypse Now") so be it!
Another mistake this film avoids, is thrusting the love angle. It certainly flirts with it, just as the characters flirt with each other, but ultimately it chooses friendship. That's got a better shelf life anyways... The dialog, and use of silences with it, prevent this from being the "feel good movie of the summer." But it is a feel good movie without the quotes, and without overarching designs.
Truly the little movie that could, and likely will, please you as it has pleased many. Nice soundtrack too, sort of a less ragged version of Neil Young's outstanding "Dead Man." Wow I just checked and this is the guy who wrote the songs for "Hedwig." Kudos!
Removing the scenes of Cannavale's father was a good move. I like that it is left to us the audience as to what his Papi is like; if he's really so sick...and so forth. Great work with off-balance scenes after Cannavale up and moves his coffee truck out of Dinklage's lot and life.
A key is that with odd moments like the train chasing, and Dinklage going to talk at Cleo's class...though not things most of us have or will experience, they felt familiar. And the friendships in here felt familial (and dare I say may have mirrored friendships off-screen).
Rather than a sequel, I'd rather see them get together for a completely different film. But I'm glad they gave us this one.
I thought I was oblivious to stereotyping people but this film made me realize that deep down i had always thought of dwarfs as probably being mentally handicapped. I apologies to all who suffer dwarfism and am glad to have been humbled by the gentle and magnificent subtlety of "Station Agent". Simply put this tells how a character you think would have all the problems meets several who you would think had none by comparison. As the film progresses they all are drawn to him for strength as he is they see him as being the most 'sorted' of them all. Very sharp. Would that we were all so observant in life! It isn't a story it's a lesson. So it wouldn't benefit from having a clever ending or a hook for Station Agent 2. I give it a 9 simply because no film can be perfect. However this one gets very near it!
I didn't realise how much I needed this movie. It was like a good
after months of takeout food. It reminded me a bit of "Breaking Away" from
way back in
1979. It really is that long since I saw a film that drifts along at the
pace of smalltown
obsessions and gives characters the breathing room to grow on screen.
The questions that this film asks are ones I am facing at the moment - whether I can live alone or should I let people into my life, and I found it refreshing not to be sledgehammered by Hollywood logic which is so unconvincing and unsustaining.
It's great to see an Indie film reach a wider audience. The strength of the material is highlighted by the number of familiar faces from quality shows that this director has managed to attract (attention fans of "Six Feet Under", "Sex and the City", "Spin City", "Dawson's Creek").
The end IS abrupt, and I was disappointed for a moment, but then the journey had been accomplished and the characters had moved on some, but I would be delighted to go and see "Station Agent 2" and catch up on these characters again. Hell, I'd move in next to Patricia Clarkson on the lakeside any day!
Saw this on holiday in England, thinking it was a British movie
since it had never made it to the hinterlands of Florida. However, it
turned out to be a very small, sad film about a very small, sad man
and the lonely people who somehow gravitate to him, despite his
best efforts to be left alone. Nothing much happens, but the
characters seem to help each other, and nothing blows up- in
other words, the exact anti-Hollywood movie. Patricia Clarkson is
fine as always, and Bobby Cannavale is very funny, but this show
was stolen by Peter Dinklage, who brings a sense of wounded
dignity to a very difficult role.
this is tottaly for those who commented about the ending so those who
not yet seen this amazing movie.. please do so and do not read
for those that said that this movie had a dumb ending lemme try and clear things up.....
a) the classroom scene- people wondering why this was included in the third act lemme tell ya why... he finally excepts the fact that he is a dwarf and that people realy except him for who he is like cleo.. and well that he has nothing to be ashamed of, thus even thoo getting made fun of by a little kid it realy doesnt faze him, infact after that if you notice the look on the kids faces that was there before goes away and they actualy are interested in what he says.. all in tune with the changes his character makes...
b) the sudden ending - well actually its not .. the whole movie is about exceptance and understanding... hes not afraid to joke around about sex which in a scene earlier he was completely turned off by the notion.. basicly understanding that joe and olyvia do not see him as an oddity but as a friend and no matter what his apreance is they will like him all the same...
c) the suicide or lack there off - he does die ... well a part of him the uptight clock which untill then was sort of his everything ... he gave up everything that he knew in order to take on his new life.. thus the director uses the train coming for him to simply show new life .. death with the old and horray to the new.. even shown by color which before if you noticed he only wore black and white.. i loved this scene it pretty much made the movie for me..
d) those poking fun at indie movies for always having a mother greaving over her lost son , it was wayyyyyyyyyy essential .. everyones character goes thru rebirth thru overcoming a obstacle in which they are stuck .. even joe with his truck ...everyones character is reborn in the ending scene...
yes i know its all far fetched but hey thats what the joy of indie movies do for us they take on characters and plots that wouldnt be touched by traditional films and make them shine brighter than any before.. it would have been easy to spell it out for everyone like so movies do now adays...but why insult the viewer??
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