The Station Agent – movie review

The Station Agent is a brilliantly directed and acted 2003 movie. It stars Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale as three very lonely people who end up finding and helping each other.

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Peter Dinklage is Finbar McBride, a man who hates the way being a dwarf automatically makes him the center of attention wherever he goes. He copes with this by living  a solitary life, where his only interest is watching and reading about trains.

Then one day he inherits a train station in the rural town of Newfoundland New Jersey, and decides to move there to live. People from other parts of the country may be surprised to know that Newfoundland New Jersey is a real place. In fact, there are many very isolated and rural areas in New Jersey.

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Patricia Clarkson plays Olivia, a woman in Newfoundland who has also retreated from the world after the death of her son. Olivia and Fin are befriended by Joe (Bobby Cannavale) who runs a local food truck and also happens to be a gourmet chef. Despite his talkative nature, Joe also lives an isolated life, with most of his time devoted to caring for his sick father.

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This is a beautiful film, about loneliness and the need for human connection. There are hundreds of teenage “coming of age” movies, but very few about the real issues of ordinary adults.

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Fin, Olivia and Joe come into contact more and more through funny and sometimes bizarre circumstances. They slowly begin to open up to each other and become the rarest of all things in this world – true friends.

We rate this movie Five Stars *****

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