Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Worth Watching: The Station Agent (2003)

Title: The Station Agent
Director: Thomas McCarthy
Language: English
Rating: R (not sure why - probably because of some of the language)

At the heart of it, this movie is about people's hunger for companionship and their adjustment to loss and the passage of time.

Three people form an unlikely friendship in The Station Agent. Finn McBride (Peter Dinklage) is a man with dwarfism who immerses himself in the world of trains: their make, their speed and movement, their history and the routes they've taken. Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavale) is an outgoing, talkative food vendor, filling in at his family's food truck because his father is ill. And Olivia Harris (Patricia Clarkson) is an artist who could be genuinely calm and joyful if she weren't struggling with a horrible tragedy in her life.

The Station Agent characters

One weakness in this movie is the way the characters keep getting thrown together in coincidental meetings that can feel forced; the filmmakers really want them to be friends. But I didn't mind so much, because I want them to be friends too. The kind of friendship that grows between them, three people who live in different worlds and ordinarily wouldn't connect in life, is beautiful.

The Station Agent characters walking along the train tracks

And then, even with the movie repeatedly throwing them together, their friendship remains in some ways fragile. It doesn't take much to shut people out of our lives. Sometimes when we need people the most, we push them away. If we're lucky they won't go away forever.

*All images link back to their source (Flixster Community).