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The Station Agent
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Station Agent More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Who knows where and how good friends will turn up

10/10
Author: tgreenwood4 from Massachusetts, USA
29 August 2006

The film starts quietly, in which we see a little of the life of Finbar McBride, one of the three main characters in this quaint and charming film. Peter Dinklage, who plays Fin, is handsome, intelligent, and stands around four-foot-five. He has adjusted to life by keeping his own company, leaving him plenty of time to pursue his interest in trains, but life comes a-knockin'. When he learns that he has inherited an abandoned station house in rural New Jersey, he heads off to take possession of it. And there is Joe (Bobby Cannavale), who takes over his father's hot dog van while his father has gone into the hospital, which he sets up across from the little station house where Fin has moved in. Joe is upbeat, outgoing, and determined to befriend the sullen yet polite Fin. It is hard not to like Joe. Into this quiet place comes Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), who has gotten away from Princeton for personal reasons. She is attractive, smart -though distracted- and reckless. Although she wants to be alone, she seems to be comfortable in Fin's presence when circumstances bring them together for the first time, even if he isn't. The strength of the movie lies in the portrayal of these people by three very capable actors and some first rate dialog that ranges back and forth from funny to poignant. At the heart of the story are the exchanges that occur between them, all the more compelling because two of the three are often anti-social. It is out of this that the humor comes, mixed with empathy that we feel for people who haven't yet realized how lonely they are. It takes a lot of talent to bring a character to life so as to make them likable, which has to be every bit as hard as being funny, and these actors accomplish both. Michelle Williams is an added bonus with her portrayal of a young librarian who finds Fin cute.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Most intriguing!

10/10
Author: lesleyannfox from Canada
24 June 2006

I just watched this on CBC and loved it! The cinematography, the script, the actors. Lovely! I found the characters to be funny, deep and interesting. Each actor brought the uniqueness of the character to the screen. I would watch this over again, and again. I can't wait to share it with friends. Loneliness has never been portrayed in such a unique way. The way that the characters changed by the end, was excellent. Highly recommend it. That a film could be based on such a simple subject, yet the subject carried the film because of the actors ability to portray their characters with such dimension. I am still in awe of the whole film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Nice Touches

7/10
Author: RARubin from United States
24 March 2006

Finbar is a real small person with a big heart, but big people are so annoying, he'd rather live alone in an old railroad station he has come to inherit from his miniature railroad enthusiast boss. Not only does he experience the loss of his friend, but Finbar seems to be having an existential crisis, which makes for vulnerability. Ask anyone who has lived in isolation for a length of time: this predicament is unnatural for the human animal.

Enter other lonely hearts, the son of an invalid, hawking hotdogs, Bobby Cannavale, Mr. Bilingual. Enter a divorced artist with a recently deceased son, Patricia Clarkson. Clarkson proves herself incapable of driving her SUV which gives us some chuckles when little Finbar must avoid catastrophe.

Look, nothing earthshaking in this Indy production, but some nice touches here and there with likable eccentrics.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Joy to Watch

8/10
Author: (ikeybabe) from United States
22 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Station Agent is a really sweet, touching, well-acted, superbly- written and directed film. I didn't know what exactly to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the movie from start to finish. Peter Dinklage was excellent and subtle and on-point with every look and word that was spoken with just the right inflection. This is the story of a man who is out of place wherever he goes. He's stared at and made fun of by the so-called normal people. And his move to this nowhere place in Jersey is a way to get away from everyone and to be alone, that is until he encounters others who are as damaged and in need of companionship too. (Although, he is totally unaware he needs people in his life). Patricia Clarkson is terrific and so is Bobby Cannavale (whom I love hearing speak Spanish!). The film is paced just right and so well done. I was just a joy to watch.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Lots of Fun

7/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
4 April 2014

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism (Peter Dinklage) moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor (Bobby Cannavale) and a woman dealing with her own personal loss (Patricia Clarkson).

Although I wish Michelle Williams had a bigger role, this is the very idea of everything an independent film should be. Not only funny, but a film that expresses the best parts of humanity.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, "Tom McCarthy has a gift for funny and touching nuances ... The three actors could not be better. Huge feelings are packed into this small, fragile movie. It's something special." I completely agree.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Perfect Film

10/10
Author: Paul Sandell from London, United Kingdom
15 February 2014

One of my favourite films of all time, it's a beautiful mix of tragedy and joy containing some of the most believable characters set in film. Finbar, Joe and Olivia seep out of the screen making you want both to hug them and just hang out with them. The direction, script and actors areas wonderful as they come.

For a first film too Tom McCarthy's writing is spot on and entirely real. Each character feels likes a complete person. His direction is very assured too, every shot is meaningful.

It's a film that marked McCarthy out to me as a film maker - it touching wonderful but also has the ability to make you laugh as well.

A unique gem.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Superb

10/10
Author: artisannes from London, England
20 May 2008

An utter gem.

It seems I have to submit ten lines of text, which is sad given that this is one of those films that left me in a satisfied silence, rather like when you've devoured a whole tub of Dulche du Leche Haagen Daz but without the follow up guilt.

The film was smooth, sweet and served in perfectly spooned portions. The cast, like the ice cream's ingredients each played their role perfectly and blended beautifully. I wished I could have sat on the porch and joined in the friendship.

If you get a chance to see it, do so, it is gentle and enchanting.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

And that's why train travel gave way to flying. . .

8/10
Author: GayProf (mandes@earthlink.net) from Palm Springs, California
29 November 2003

The story in "The Station Agent" doesn't go where most people might expect or want it to go. And it takes its time doing even that. Yet, it's a delightful, slow, small story with a delightful, slow and (in one case particularly) small set of characters. At a few points, it's a bumpy ride, yet wonderful nonetheless. And although the story focuses on Fin, a dwarf, I found that after the film's first 20 minutes or so, I had completely lost sight of the fact that Fin is a small ("Four feet, five inches" in his own words) person because he is a character drawn bigger than life, at least his life. The other characters almost become ancillary to Peter Dinklage's portrayal of Fin, a performance that hopefully will be remembered for the excellence he displays from the first moment we meet him until the final fade to black. It's too bad that in this world of gotta have it now and gotta have it fast, "The Station Agent" will most likely get lost because, like the trains Fin so obviously admires, it's a purposefully slow story with stops along its story's route that most people would not want to even venture a visit.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Sleeper movie may find cult following...

9/10
Author: jack-814 from Canada
27 March 2006

I was glad to see that this film made the top 50 of the 2000s as it is a good little picture. Other users have commented on the quality acting and I would have to agree that the chemistry worked. What few have managed to mention, however, was that it was Cannavalle who held the film together in terms of chemistry. He played the "Rappaport-esque" role well, keeping the focus off the rather depressing side stories and offering humor to an otherwise awkward trio. He should do more pieces like this. Get a job in a Buschemi flick bugging some straight-man instead of playing dumb cop roles on TV. Also, smoking in movies is good, i would like to go to a movie theatre where you can smoke. that would be bad-ass

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Excellent film, which shows true friendship

10/10
Author: amefilms1 from Portsmouth
17 September 2004

This film was a real highlight, i am very glad i chose to see it. The Station Agent shows how looks do not make the person, it was very touching as well as funny to see Joe not care that Fin was a dwarf, unlike the rest of the world. The relationships between all characters seemed so real. The film showed that everyone has strengths and weaknesses on some level, The Station Agent shows that true friends are worth having around.

At first i thought the ending was not the best, partly due to the fact i never wanted the film to end, but then i realized that it was the correct ending for a film which started with a lonely man and finished with a true group of friends.

Best film of the year

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