Friday, January 23, 2015

A-Z Movies, S: "The Station Agent"

Recommended by:
Merinda (friend)

Movie Stats:
Released 2003 (USA)
American, in English (some non-translated Spanish)
Director - Thomas McCarthy
Stars - Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams

Plot Summary:
After the death of his friend, Finbar McBride (Dinklage), moves into an abandoned train depot in a rural area of New Jersey. Cannavale co-stars as Joe, the local hotdog vendor, Clarkson as Olivia, a local artist with serious issues, and Williams as Emily, the town’s librarian.

Blue language, minor drug use.

Bad Stuff:
I was not a big fan of the soundtrack. It fairly screamed “indie movie soundtrack circa early 21st century,” and not in a good way.

While this isn’t a problem for me personally, this is very much an independent film in that it’s full of quirky characters caught up in quirky situations. It’s all a bit twee. My husband isn’t a very big fan of indie flicks, and while he wasn’t around while I was watching this, I could hear him in my head saying, “It was kind of weird.”

Good Stuff:
I loved the evolution of Fin’s character. Even before the death of his friend, you could tell how depressed, lonely, and closed off he was. It was interesting to watch him slowly open up. I don’t think he smiled until an hour into the film, but once he finally did, it was well worth the wait. This was a very nice performance from Dinklage.

I enjoyed the warm friendship that eventually grew between Joe, Fin, and Olivia. It made me long for a friendship like that.

I also really liked Joe’s character. You don’t see a character like Joe in film very often: terribly lonely, desperate for connection in a way that men are rarely portrayed, but kind-hearted, gregarious, and persistent. He was completely infectious. I was rooting for him to win over Fin and Olivia.

The Verdict:
I liked it a lot. It’s very sweet and endearing. The story is good, as is the character development, although it takes some patience to wait for those developments to come about. Everyone is very good in it. I liked the costuming, which is maybe a weird thing to say if you’ve seen it, but it all fits in a way that makes sense. I think this is a good film for watching when you need to feel some warm fuzzies at the end of a difficult day. 

I give it 4.5 stars.


Patricia said...

I've been meaning to see this for years! Perhaps I'm just waiting for a day when I need warm fuzzies.

balyien said...

I'm of the opinion that people need warm fuzzies every day.