Moviecrazed
  Web www.moviecrazed.com   



THE STATION AGENT

A gruff little loner with big dreams about trains inherits an abandoned depot in New Jersey. The dwarf also more or less inherits a motor-mouthed hot dog vendor and a boozy woman trying to cope with the loss of her child.

CAST: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Raven Goodwin, Paul Benjamin, Michelle Williams

DIRECTOR: Tom McCarthy

"A delicate, thoughtful and often hilarious take on loneliness…it's the kind of appetizing movie you want to share with others…A movie about a dwarf certainly flirts with being cringe-worthy, at least in the abstract, but Mr. McCarthy deals with his creations as characters. What's most important about Fin is the detachment he imposes on himself, his resignation to loneliness…Mr. McCarthy proves himself so crafty at making the unvoiced sentiments the heart of the film that the movie becomes shocking in moments when Fin vents his fury." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"‘The Station Agent’ takes a simple theme — loneliness and the inability or unwillingness to connect — and makes it both funnier and more touching than you could imagine…The plotting is not complex or contrived, drawing on the conflicting instincts of human nature — self-protection from a thoughtless world and the need to connect with people — for its drama…It all works so well because of a terrific cast, led by the wonderfully expressive Peter Dinklage, who turns an expressive deadpan into a performance of Keatonesque heart and intelligence. Bobby Cannavale is inspiring as Joe, the human equivalent of a black Labrador in his enthusiastic good nature. And the marvelous Patricia Clarkson does wonders with Olivia, a woman struggling with a personal history that keeps her from reconnecting with the world…‘The Station Agent’ is small and polished, a wonderfully self-contained little film with a huge heart." --Marshall Fine, The Journal News

"‘The Station Agent,’ a first feature written and directed by Thomas McCarthy, is about a trio of outsiders who learn to trust one another, and it’s a bit too satisfied with its own sweet sensitivities…Loneliness in this movie is treated as a state of grace; so is togetherness. McCarthy goes in for lots of artfully framed shots of lyrical anomie; when Fin, in isolation, walks sturdily down the train tracks, we’re cued to register the indomitability of outsiders in an uncaring world. At other times, McCarthy seems intent on making his people as congenially ordinary as possible. All this mythmaking, and demythologizing, is tempered somewhat by the performances. Clarkson and Cannavale, in particular, have too much life in them to be pinned down as symbols for anything." --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"Writer-director Tom McCarthy, making his film debut with this Sundance Audience Award winner, has the skills of a seasoned filmmaker--he understands the easy humor that defines genuine friendships and handles the few moments of high drama with restraint. He marries beautifully spare compositions with comically abbreviated dialogue to craft something magnificent from a vaguely precious premise…The 4-foot-5 Dinklage, with his strong jaw and unexpectedly sonorous voice, is an outsized presence as Fin McBride, an intensely private man who has spent a lifetime steeling himself against the unwanted attention--ranging from bald curiosity to ignorant taunts--that his size provokes from strangers." --Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"What do you call a movie about a reclusive dwarf named Fin (an extraordinary performance from Peter Dinklage) who inherits an abandoned train depot in New Jersey? You could call it precious, which it sometimes is. But writer-director Tom McCarthy has a gift for funny and touching nuances as Fin reluctantly opens up to Joe (Bobby Cannavale), a hot-dog vendor, and Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), an artist. The three actors could not be better. Huge feelings are packed into this small, fragile movie. It's something special." --Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"This Sundance winner deserves every accolade it's earned so far for the way the director and his cast sidestep the script's inherent obstacles of eccentricity and whimsy…Everyone involved can claim credit, but it's Dinklage, in an understated, outstanding performance, who turns this unlikely tale into art that will strike a chord with any open-minded audience." --Elizabeth Weitzman, The New York Daily News

"It's a small film, rather insubstantial when you boil it down to its essentials, but it benefits greatly from its three strong leads, McCarthy's gentle style and a willingness to leave some things unsaid and others ambiguous…The three characters form delicate friendships, each gaining something from the other, each leaving a piece of their loneliness behind. And that's really what McCarthy is getting at here: the healing balm of human connection, the immeasurable power of human dignity and that we all need someone to lean on." --Glenn Whipp, The Los Angeles Daily News

"It’s rarely a good sign when a dwarf appears in a movie as shorthand for the lonely outsider, but handsome Peter Dinklage brings offhand dignity and candor to his role…‘The Station Agent,’ actor Tom McCarthy’s engaging debut as writer and director, brings a fine sense of place, a saving humor, and a delicate appreciation of the way we sit tight on our hurts and losses, or run from them in order to avoid further pain…Quiet and meditative, Dinklage neatly sidesteps the trope of the angry dwarf, and Clarkson, even in pain and rage, is characteristically warm and sexy." --Ella Taylor, LA Weekly

"Though a good deal of ‘The Station Agent’ deals with train mania, nothing is frenzied about this Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winner. And that's part of its overly studied but still reliable charm…Much of this sounds potentially mawkish, but it helps that Cannavale's character is borderline goofy and Clarkson's borderline loopy." --Mike Clark, USA Today