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The Station Agent
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The Station Agent More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Odd,sad movie

8/10
Author: kingbad from Florida
3 April 2004

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.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

just some things to clear up

Author: chris Bowie from arizona
24 December 2003

this is tottaly for those who commented about the ending so those who have not yet seen this amazing movie.. please do so and do not read on.........

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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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A good movie with some problems

6/10
Author: GHCool from Studio City, CA, USA
25 October 2003

For some reason, I liked THE STATION AGENT, but I can't put my finger on why. There is not a whole lot of hope for any of these characters. None of them really change in the end. Also, the movie doesn't really provide an ending to this story. You're left with the feeling that the characters' lives could continue forever in the same way they have lived it throughout the movie.

However, this shouldn't discourage people from seeing the movie. The performances very good (especially Bobby Cannavale as the extroverted Joe). The cinematography was very creative and created a moody atmosphere that fit the tone of the film. Despite the problems I had with the screenplay, it was very funny in some parts and very cathartic in other parts.

My grade:

6 out of 10

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Trains and Hotdog Wagons

9/10
Author: alakritz from United States
20 January 2005

There's a Park 'n' Ride in Newfoundland, New Jersey, which suggests this town, the setting of this film gem, is just an outpost of greater metropolitan New York.

But for the central characters in the story - a train enthusiast and toy repairman, a divorced artist, and a fast food vendor - Newfoundland is a place to look away from the city and all its ugly prejudices and rather nasty business. The main character, Fin, played by Peter Dinklage, a person with dwarfism, inherits a train station on a half acre in Newfoundland and moves away from the city. His daily neighbor, Joe (Bobby Cannavale), the hot dog salesman, insists on being Fin's friend, and soon the two are joined by Olivia (the incomparable Patricia Clarkson), an artist going through a bad breakup in a wonderful house on the lake. The three of them awkwardly compose an alternative universe within an American culture that's cold, brutal, and generally unforgiving.

Their connection is partly sexual, partly curiosity, and partly the recognition of a shared disgust for life on the other side of the tracks. It's quirky, quiet, and ultimately endearing, taking train worship well beyond the bizarre world of Nicolas Roeg's fine 1988 Track 29.

Trains are either a mode of taking one away from HERE, or a cog in the wheel of the here and now, escape or ball and chain. In the Station Agent, enthusiasm for trains is just a property of Fin, who appears to have actually walked to Newfoundland from Hoboken - they are not a symbol of flight or imprisonment. And by allowing his new friends, Joe and Olivia, to peek into that world, they all come to share what it means to make a place for one self, one that is not odd, or eccentric, or outlandish, but just comfortingly boring or normal.

This film's delicious premise is that it would invite its audience to share, too, in the world they build, at least during its 88 minute running time, of comfort and mutual support and respect, even while recognizing the intrusions, from time to time, of the outside world of illness, betrayal, and ridicule that threatens the delicate balance they make together.

Thomas McCarthy's sensitive and compelling film is a welcome respite from the usual multiplex fare - its measured, deliberate pace, allows you to sink into a different music altogether, one measured by train schedules and the long wait for the next train to arrive, and pass by. Highly recommended.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Melancholy Dwarf Finds Friendship

9/10
Author: jfn5thsfga from Upland, CA
21 December 2004

A very poignant and moving movie. The story is about a loaner who seems to live only for trains. He inherits an abandoned train station in Newfoundland, NJ. He aspires to be alone with his trains and books, but fate brings into his life a distraught young female and a bon vivant hot dog vendor.

I would recommend this movie to practically anyone who likes sweetness, kindness, and man's/woman's humanity to man. The movie is replete with various interesting characters, from the beautiful librarian, her abusive boyfriend, an elementary school girl named Chloe, and a rather boorish convenience store owner.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

McCarthy keeps it real

10/10
Author: jldmh1 from NJ, USA
21 December 2004

Newfoundland station is a real place. Indeed, when I was a teenager working on a tree clearing crew for our local government (Morris county, as written on the abandoned red caboose), our operator dropped a branch on live high voltage wires on Green Pond Rd., blowing out power in Newfoundland, and up and down the highway (Rt. 23). This occurred within shouting distance of the principal shooting location of Station Agent, so you can imagine what a kick it is for me to see a familiar place close to home get worldwide exposure.

Olivia's waterfront home on Green Pond is a real place in Rockaway township, an affluent section of already well-to-do Morris county. Newfoundland is in Jefferson township, a place that has a reputation as a little slice of Appalachia and all of its negative connotations. The movie's blue-collar bar and the mullet-sporting, monster truck wielding, small minded bumpkins are entirely in proportion to reality. There is a real right side/wrong side of the tracks dichotomy, and a cinematic right side/wrong side dichotomy; McCarthy puts Fin actually and metaphorically between the tracks, since Fin wants nothing to do with this world and all that you and I take for granted. Yet he is also doomed to be the Station Agent, the medium between the outsiders wandering into his world.

You get the sense that McCarthy just picked up a camera and started rolling, and stitched together a narrative from so many interesting bits, including the clever film-within-a-film motif. It's all about subtle gestation, not sledgehammering. There's no cloying odor in this movie, no schmaltz. The Elephant Man scene at the bar says it all with a mere 3 lines of monologue.

4 on a 4 scale: life-affirming

P.S. An IMDb chat thread suggested the movie was shot in Canada!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Friends

8/10
Author: Jexxon from Norberg, Sweden
21 December 2004

Low key character driven (to say the least) drama about a loner/dwarf who moves in to a old railroad shack in a small town. There, the film follows him as he befriends a loner/woman and a loner/talkative Cuban.

As far as the goes, that's about it. The three of them walk around railroad tracks, drink coffee, and talk. The film's strength lies in it's interesting depiction of three not-so-happy-with-their-lives people who try to find comfort in each other's company. I guess bitter sweet would be an appropriate term to describe it with. The acting is top notch and feels real. The look of the film is equally good, with a warm colour scheme that works wonders with the ordinary looking sets.

On the downside there is a side story with Michelle Williams that feels a bit forced and doesn't really get anywhere. Overall though, a film well worth seeing for those who don't need explosions to be entertained. [8/10]

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Little Gem

Author: dragonwood-1 from NH, USA
9 December 2004

This movie was a little gem, combining subtle humor with realistic drama that the audience could identify with, and character development at a pace that allowed an introspective viewer to project himself into the internal life of the character, and see how his struggles affect the external and internal lives of the other characters. The long walks along the track were brilliant in that each audience member could find his or her own symbolic meaning. The writer required the audience to think a bit, which probably killed it for younger audiences who have been groomed to the 2.4 second attention span Hollywood thinks they have, or for audience members not wanting movies that hit too close to home.

The ending did catch me off balance, which upon reflection (Which was the writer's intent) turned out to be great, as there was a sense of continuation - life goes on, there is no swell of music or dramatic climax to most of the incidents in our lifes.

The movie allowed me to engage with and care for these characters, to share and identify with their feeling of alienation, displacement, pain, joy and happiness in a quiet, reflective way that will last long after the movie. This is one I will watch again.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Terrific

9/10
Author: Joseph Pintar from New Hartford, NY
12 July 2004

After watching films last week like the overhyped King Arthur and the overrated The Butterfly Effect, it was nice to watch a movie like The Station Agent. This is a wonderful character study about a dwarf who inherits a train depot after the death of his only friend. He goes to live there hoping for isolation. Instead, he meets new friends including a lonely divorcee, a pretty librarian, a little girl, and a hotdog vendor. Along the way, they teach him about friendship and how not to be bitter at the rest of the world just because he is different. This movie shows that you do not need big budgets or special effects to make an excellent movie. What you do need is people and situations we care about. We do care about these peoples and what happens to them. It is so nice to see a movie in which has likable characters who grew during the movie and you like spending time with them.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Oh Boy!

Author: gonzo03393 from Michigan
8 May 2004

What a refreshing movie. I have seen it four times and have walked away satisfied each and every time. If your looking for an action movie, then stay away from "The Station Agent". This movie reflects a very quiet segment of Finbar, Olivia and Joes life. Peter Dinklage was excellent as a retired dwarf--("Dwarfs retire early...that's a common fact") His chemistry is perfect with Bobby Cannavale and Patricia clarkson. These three worked so well together you felt part of their lives for 90 minutes. This movie was a pleasant change from most other films of action and violence. It had a somewhat of a calming effect while you where watching it. This movie is pleasant to the senses..Go see

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