Friday, July 30, 2010
Good little film
My wife Alison and I just caught a cute little film via Netflix: Thomas McCarthy's 2003 drama, The Station Agent. This is a film decidedly not for everyone. A dwarf (played by Peter Dinklage, a real-life little person), inherits a train depot out in the boonies from his deceased boss (they had both worked in a small shop that sold and repaired model trains) and promptly moves into the depot to get away from all the stares and other nonsense people like him have to deal with on a daily basis.
The rest of the movie is basically Fin (Fin McBride is the character's name) dealing with the fact that no one leaves him alone once he moves into the remote depot in the wilds of New Jersey... not the guy who runs the coffee truck (played by Bobby Cannivale), who inexplicably sets up every morning in the deserted area near Fin's new residence, or the somewhat distracted artist covered with paint spatters (Patricia Clarkson) who seemingly is the coffee truck's only customer. They're both fascinated with Fin, first because of his dwarfism but later because he demonstrates (despite his efforts to be left alone) that he's an interesting guy, and kind of nice to be around. Soon, they (and a couple of others) don't even notice he's a dwarf and just want to get a little of his attention. You see, they're all misfits, too, if not in an immediately recognizable way like Fin.
Like I said, it's not a complicated, densely plotted movie, and many will likely cop a "what's the point?" attitude. But, if you can enjoy watching everybody becoming a little richer and perhaps happier from their new associations with each other (even Fin), this might be worth your time. In my view, The Station Agent is offbeat, funny, not too serious (though there are some serious moments), and overall a warm, resonant hour and a half or so. We liked it and you might, too.