The Station Agent


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Rating: R

Peter Dinklage as Finbar McBride
Bobby Cannavale as Joe Oramas
Patricia Clarkson as Olivia Harris
Paul Benjamin as Henry Styles
Jase Blankfort as Store Customer
Paula Garcés as Cashier
Josh Pais as Carl
Richard Kind as Louis Tiboni
Lynn Cohen as Patty at the Good to Go
Raven Goodwin as Cleo
Marla Sucharetza as Janice
Michelle Williams as Emily
Jayce Bartok as Chris
Joe Lo Truglio as Danny
John Slattery as David

Special Features:
Commentary by director Tom McCarthy and actors Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson & Bobby Cannavale

Deleted scenes

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
French Language Track
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 89 Minutes

Fin McBride is a dwarf living in New Jersey. Though the general public sees him as an oddity and they make fun of him, he loves trains and enjoys working for his friend at a model train shop. But when his friend dies, Fin finds himself all alone.

Fin learns that his friend has left him some property in rural New Jersey. There’s an old train station on the property. Looking to get away from civilization, the loner Fin decides to move into the old train station. However, Fin finds out that the station isn’t quite as isolated as he thought. Joe Oramas runs a little concession van next door and constantly pesters Fin for conversation. And after accidentally running Fin off the rod (twice), Olivia Harris repeatedly tries to make amends with Fin despite his best efforts to avoid her. It doesn’t take long for the three to form a tight group of friends despite Fin’s best efforts to keep to himself.

The Station Agent is rated R for language and some drug content.

The Movie:
I missed The Station Agent in theaters. Checking it out on DVD, I found it to be a bit of a mixed bag. It was a funny film with a great cast of colorful characters. It has a dry, subtle sense of humor that I appreciate. However, the film is very slow at times and the ending is a bit unsatisfying.

Peter Dinklage stars as Fin McBride. Quite honestly, his character could have been played by any actor, but the fact that he’s a dwarf gives him extra dimension and his character all the more reason to want to shun society and be left alone. It’s interesting to get to know him and see the world through his eyes. You may think nothing of staring at a dwarf in the real world, but when you consider that every person he walks by does the same, it’s easy to see just how frustrating it would become for him. Dinklage is pretty good at brooding and he makes a natural transition from dark loner to caring friend with ease.

Dinklage is supported by Bobby Cannavale as Joe Oramas and Patricia Clarkson as Olivia Harris. Cannavale is hilarious as the friendly Cuban. He’s like a little lost puppy as he cluelessly follows Fin around. His energy and enthusiasm make him equally appealing and annoying as he brings Fin ou of his shell. Clarkston is also excellent as Olivia, the grieving mother in the film. She’s dealing with deep depression over the loss of her young son, but you frequently see glimpses of what she was like in her previous life. She’s funny and friendly, even if she is a bit clumsy. The three make a great trio of friends that support each other through their problems and they pull each other back out into society when they would otherwise retreat from it.

The film has a great sense of humor. Besides Olivia running Fin off the road twice, there’s a funny awkward moment when her ex-husband shows up at her house after Fin and Joe have innocently spent the night. Needless to say, the scene of her home alone with a dwarf and a handsome young Cuban is a little awkward to explain. Joe also provides a lot of comic relief as he is repeatedly unable to take a hint that Fin wants to be left alone. He’s like an annoying kid that won’t go away.

Despite the great humor, the movie does drag at times. There are long, quiet scenes where people are doing nothing but staring off in the distance. Fin also takes numerous long, quiet walks by himself. Throw in an abrupt conclusion and the film ends up being a bit of a letdown. However, if you find yourself the least bit interested in The Station Agent, I still think it’s worth checking out (especially for you train enthusiasts).

The Extras:
There are two extras included on this DVD:

Commentary by director Tom McCarthy and actors Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson & Bobby Cannavale – This is actually a fun commentary with the main actors and the director. They have all sorts of stories about the locations they shot at, the supporting actors, and more. It’s a lively discussion and they keep things going through the whole film. If you enjoyed the movie, it’s worth listening to.

Deleted scenes – There are 5 deleted scenes featured on the DVD. Two show more footage of Fin and his friend from the beginning of the film. It’s simply them hanging out, enjoying trains together. A third scene shows his friend’s funeral. Another shows Joe’s father after he recovered from his sickness towards the end of the film. All of these scenes are brief and they weren’t terribly necessary to the plot, though I did like seeing Joe’s father who was discussed so much through the film.

The Bottom Line:
The Station Agent is an interesting film that has a dry sense of humor and excellent character development, but it is a bit slow at times.