Netflix Movie Review: The Station Agent

I love when a movie makes me want to write a review; when it can force a flood of emotions through me all at once. When this happens, I know I’ve just enjoyed a film. The Station Agent is that kind of film. Released in 2003, the movie Written and Directed by Thomas McCarthy (2012, Meet the Parents, Up) is impressive. I was touched. So many aspects of the story really hit me hard. At only 89 minutes, I admit I was sad to see it end.

The movie stars Peter Dinklage. I have been a long time fan of Dinklage, since long before Game of Thrones. I feel like Dinklage is finally earning the respect deserved as an amazing actor if only thanks to the HBO series. stationagent

The synopsis on IMDB reads: When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss. This is more of a simple log line. It does not convey the heartfelt scenes and simple dialogue that builds the story and just moves the plot constantly forward.

Fin McBride, portrayed by Peter Dinklage, is something of a boring man. As a dwarf, he seems accustomed to ogling stares, childish taunts and strangers taking his photograph. While he does his best to ignore the obscene behavior of others, there is no way it does not eat away at him. No way it does not slowly destroy his soul. When his employer dies, he learns he has been left a small piece of property and decides to move into an old train station in an attempt to hide from everyone, from life.

Unfortunately, (or fortunately), his “neighbor,” Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavale), runs an hot dog stand next door. Overly friendly, and chatty, we learn that he lives life to the fullest while dealing with a sick and elderly father.

PeterDinklageThe amazing Patricia Clarkson plays Olivia Harris; a married woman who is dealing with the recent death of a child. Rightfully so, her absent-minded behavior is nearly aloof as she tries to piece together puzzles about life that just won’t fit anymore.

It may not seem it, but all three suffer from a need for seclusion, as well as for a chance or opportunity to figure out what life is all about. With no easy answers, with no real definition as to why or how, what or what for . . . the three bond as friends, as foes, as people. Their complex backgrounds are clear and apparent and depressing.

The relationships feel right. Genuine. The minor characters are strong, and just interesting enough to make the entire cast complete, full.

With completely compelling characters and an amazing story line, McCarthy ‘s has shared with everyone a movie that should NOT be missed. The Station Agent is heartfelt and inspirational. It is one of those rare films that long after it is over, you know will not forget it.  Ever.

Phillip Tomasso,
Author of The Vaccination Trilogy

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